Kenya,US trade negotiations enter first round
A Kenyan delegation is in the U.S. to finalize negotiations on possible areas of partnership on strategic trade and investment.
Talks between Kenya and the U.S. began in July 2020. After the US elections in November 2020, President Biden’s administration initiated a fresh round of negotiations.
This however stalled but bilateral engagements were revived in December last year.
Monday, bilateral trade talks between Kenya and the United States of America kicked off with the first round of in-person discussions taking place in Washington DC.
The Kenyan delegation hopes that the five-day talks on the free trade agreement will make head way.
The Kenyan delegation, led by Trade Principal Secretary Alfred Ombudo, is scouting for areas of collaboration that will increase foreign direct investment, promote sustainable and inclusive growth that will also support women and small and medium enterprise businesses.
The U.S. is pushing for duty free market access for its goods, including agricultural and industrial.
On the other hand, Kenya is seeking to protect its local manufacturers and grow exports even as the Kenyan negotiators pushes for better terms.
The Cabinet Secretary for Trade Moses Kuria has said his target is to grow investments in Kenya from the current $500 million annually to $10 billion in five years and increase the value of exports from the current 10pc of GDP to 30pc by the year 2025.
The US is pushing for among others a competitive government procurement process, eradication of corruption, removal of non-tariff barriers, favorable sanitary and phytosanitary measure.
Other areas of partnership between the two nations include digital transformation, climate, energy and agriculture.