Trade CS backs Free Trade Area to boost exports by 5pc

Written By: Benson Rioba
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Cabinet Secretary Industrialization and Trade, Betty Maina
Cabinet Secretary Industrialization and Trade, Betty Maina

Kenya intends to increase exports to the US by 5 percent, once the new Free Trade Agreement between the two nations takes effect. 

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Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina, says Kenya stands to earn 2 trillion shillings annually once the Free Trade Agreement materializes adding that similar trade negotiations with UK and China are on course.

Currently Kenya exports goods worth 61 billion shillings annually to the US, with nuts, vegetable and textile products forming the bulk of the exports. 

In a bid to shore up this volume, Kenya has started negotiations for a free trade agreement with the North American nation ahead of the 2025 expiry of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act AGOA agreement. 

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Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina says the FTA will give local manufacturers new markets in the US and net the country an estimated two trillion shillings annually in export earnings.

The CS further said similar trade negotiations with the UK are currently ongoing to review afresh existing agreements in light of the former exit from the European Union.

The government has been urged to keep the country’s supply chain running to enable manufacturers access both local and international markets for their products.

Local manufacturers have been urged to produce high quality products that can compete in the regional and international markets.

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