Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry Moses Kuria is leading a high-powered government delegation to London for the Economic Partnership Agreement and Investment meeting.
- Kenya is leveraging on the talks to intensify pitches to investors.
- This is in an effort to net at least $10 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) this year.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry Moses Kuria is this week leading a high-powered government delegation to London for the Economic Partnership Agreement and Investment meeting, that Kenya seeks to intensify pitches to investors.
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The government is aiming to net at least $10 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) this year in a plan mooted by the Kenya Investment Authority.
The forum is being held through a Ministerial Council meeting on the Economic Partnership Agreement, which was scheduled to kick-off on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 in London.
“The forum will provide a platform to explore opportunities between the two countries to grow economic relationship and mutual prosperity,” CS Kuria’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Participants are drawn from the public and private sector including Principal Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers representing various relevant Government agencies from Kenya, as well as Government and private sector players from the UK.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was signed on December 8, 2020 and ratified in March 2021. The two key objectives were to provide full duty-free and quota-free market access conditions for goods originating in EAC Partner States into the market of the UK on a secure, long- term and predictable basis and to preserve and improve market access conditions to ensure that Kenya fully benefits from the EPA.
In economic terms, the EPA provides a good framework for strengthening of the strategic cooperation between Kenya and UK in the areas of trade, investment, research, innovation and development, value addition and capacity building which will promote improved relations at both the government and private sector level.
The Economic partnership agreement allowed Kenya and UK to maintain trade relations post- Brexit and grants Kenyan goods, particularly horticulture exports duty-free access to the UK.
Through the EPA agreement, Kenya and UK have undertaken operations on market access and business environment issues having held discussions in March 2022 as well as the Trade and Business environment road show in the UK.
The UK is supporting the Kenyan business environment, particularly on tax and customs, intellectual property and counterfeit goods, public procurement, and research and development.
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The institutional governance framework of EPA comprises of EPA Council, Committee of Senior Officials and Consultative Committee.
The EPA Council co- chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Investments Trade and Industry, comprises of Cabinet Secretaries for National Treasury and Planning, East African Community and Regional Development, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and the Attorney General.
CS Kuria who is leading the high-powered government delegation to the London talks is accompanied by among others, Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o.
Kisumu County to sign investment deal
Kisumu County is among the beneficiaries of the trade pact between Kenya and the UK.
As part of the four-day investor engagement, an investment forum hosted by His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, John Humphrey, delegations from both countries will witness the signing of an investment partnership worth Ksh30 billion (USD229.9 million), between United Green and the County government of Kisumu.
Prof. Nyong’o is expected to sign the deal on behalf of the county government.
So far, the British Government has announced funding worth millions of pounds to Kenya in renewed efforts to deepen trade and investment between the two countries.
The theme of the forum will be to build and promote trade and investment partnerships between Kenya and the United Kingdom.
The UK is keen on helping Kenyan exporters of agricultural produce to the UK, currently worth over £300m annually or $352.5 million, by increasing UK investment in value addition activities in Kenya and supporting the ‘Made in Kenya’ brand.
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Key state agencies involved include Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Development Corporation, Kenya Intellectual Property Institute, Kenya National Trading Corporation, LAPSSET and Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest).
The Private Sector is represented by among others, its umbrella organization Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) through Bimal Kantaria (MD Elgon Kenya Ltd), Fresh Produce Exporters Association and The Kenya Flower Council.
Bilateral Cooperation between Kenya and UK dates to pre-independence.
Presently, the UK and Kenya Governments’ bilateral relations were elevated to the strategic partnership following the launch of UK–Kenya Strategic Partnership Framework for the period 2020 -2025 in January 2020, at the sidelines of the UK-Africa Summit held in January 2020 in London.
“The Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership 2020-2025 aims to deepen cooperation between the two countries to a more ambitious partnership that will make the two countries deliver more prosperous, secure, and sustainable societies and reflect on the prevailing opportunities and challenges,” the Kenyan government notes.
Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Kenya was £1.1 billion (USD1.3 billion), in current prices, in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022, an increase of 6.3% or £68 million from the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021.
Of the total, UK exports to Kenya amounted to £521 million (USD635.2 million ), in current prices, in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022 (a decrease of 2.4% or £13 million compared to the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021).
Kenya was the UK’s 83rd largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022 accounting for 0.1 per cent of total UK trade.
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In 2021, the outward stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UK in Kenya was £489 million (USD596.2million).
In 2021, the inward stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK from Kenya are not available due to data disclosure.