The UK has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with Kenya, benefiting UK-Kenya trade which was worth £1.4 billion in 2019. The trade agreement will ensure that all companies operating in Kenya, including British businesses, can continue to benefit from duty-free access to the UK market. The provisions of the agreement will apply from January 1, 2021.
The deal was signed in London on December 8 by UK international trade minister Ranil Jayawardena and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for trade Betty Maina. It will support jobs and economic development in Kenya, as well as avoid possible disruption to UK businesses such as florists who will be able to maintain tariff-free supply routes for Kenya’s high-quality flowers.
As one of the largest economies in East Africa, Kenya is an important trading partner for the UK. The deal also recognises the importance of the wider region, and the agreement is open for other members of the East African Community (EAC) to join.
“This deal makes sure businesses have the certainty they need to continue trading as they do now, supporting jobs and livelihoods in both our countries,” said Jayawardena. “Today’s agreement is also a first step towards a regional agreement with the East African Community, and I look forward to working with other members to secure an agreement to forge ever-closer trading ties.”
“This agreement will provide the strongest possible platform for the United Kingdom, Kenya and, ultimately, the whole EAC, to expand our trade relationship in future,” said UK minister for Africa James Duddridge. “We will use this agreement as the catalyst to deepen our mutual prosperity alongside the other areas of cooperation in our strategic partnership with Kenya that includes security, sustainable development, climate change, and cultural pillars.”