TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenya to increase exports to 20% of GDP by 2020

Monday, 13 November 2017 Published: | Nicholas Nduati

Source: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Kenya targets to increase her exports to 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in three years’ up from the current 14.5 percent, buoyed by the ongoing efforts to exploit destination markets in over 80 countries. 

Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo says this will be realized by among others, product diversification and value addition initiatives.

The formulation of the National Export Strategy (NES) commenced in September last year and is set for finalization by the end of next month, a process which has so far seen prioritization of target sectors to help increase exports.

Among these, Kiptoo says include Livestock and Livestock products where Kenya now has new markets in the Middle East, value addition of agricultural products, Handicrafts and cross cutting issues ranging from Export Financing, Trade Facilitation and Foreign Market Representation.

It is however emerging that Kenya has not been fully exploiting export opportunities in over 80 countries that Kenya has trade agreements or foreign representation with.

For instance Kenya has utilized only 12 product lines at the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) market out of the available 6,400 product lines.

To this end, Kiptoo says they will be looking into enhancing diversification of exported products through value addition.

Kiptoo says that informal negotiations have commenced with regards to the duty free access of Kenya’s goods to the UK that expires in March 2019.

He however says the Equivalent Annual Cost (EAC) secretariat has forwarded an explanation to the EU and is awaiting feedback with regards to the circumstances facing the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreements as a block.

According to Kiptoo, export of Kenyan goods such as Avocadoes to South Africa that had been halted has since resumed under both the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the Southern African Development Community arrangements.

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