Kenya will soon start negotiations on a second bilateral trade pact with the United Kingdom following its exit from European Union (EU).
The two countries have previously been trading through the EU. However, Kenya lost market access after Britain left the union in what was known as Brexit.
Under the EU, Kenya benefited from duty-free and quota-free market access to all member states for industrial and agricultural products, including beef, fish, dairy, cereals, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.
The talks mean Kenya and the UK will have to renegotiate the terms for a trade pact.
The announcement comes after the government kicked off negotiations for Kenya-US bilateral agreement on July 8.
“Kenya will also be launching a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom following their exit from the EU in the coming days,” said Trade secretary Betty Maina said during the launch of the Sunquick Fruit Drink Concentrate production line at BidCoro Africa last week.
The Brexit heightened debates on its impact on Kenyan trade ties and investments, with analysts claiming it would result in major loses to the country.
Kenyan exports to the UK were recorded at Sh40.08 billion in the 12 months to December 2019, representing 30 per cent of Sh133.39 billion total exports to the EU in the period.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data shows the volume of trade between Kenya and EU in the first three months, which excluded the UK after exiting the union in February 2020, was valued at Sh94.35 billion compared to Sh106.13 billion recorded in a similar period in 2019.