TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

SA "has not used AGOA to best advantage"

Tuesday, 23 March 2004

Source: The Nation (Nairobi)

Kenya exported textiles worth more than Sh11.6 billion to the United States last year as a result of the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa).

KenyaTrade minister Mukhisa Kituyi said the Act, enacted by the US in 2000, had seen Kenyan textile and apparel exports increase to more than $150 million last year.

In a speech read by internal trade director Seth Otieno during the opening of the Indian textile buyer/seller meeting at the Hilton hotel, Dr Kituyi said Agoa will offer certain Kenyan goods duty and quota free access to the US market until 2008.

Dr Kituyi called on Kenyan manufacturers to forge alliances with the visitors from India.

Dr Kituyi urged Indian investors to help in reviving collapsed mills like Eldoret's Rift Valley Textile (Rivatex), Nanyuki's Mount Kenya Textile(Mountex), and Kisumu's Kisumu Cotton Mills (Kicomi).

He said that although India was one of Kenya's major trading partners, the trade imbalance favoured India.

"The balance of trade rose from Sh4.2 billion in 1994 to Sh10.4 billion in 2002. During the same period, Kenya's imports increased from Sh4.8 billion to Sh13 billion in 2002, while exports from Kenya rose from Sh680 million to Sh2.7 billion," the minister said.

The minister said tourists to Kenya has increased steadily in the recent past adding: "More Indians should be encouraged to visit this country instead of the Far East, South East Asia or Europe which they are familiar with.

"Kenya is only five hours away from Mumbai, and has beautiful beaches, game parks and mountains, not to speak of the hospitable people, shared language and moderate climate," Dr Kituyi said.

Export Promotion Council chief executive Matanda Wabuyele said Kenya targets 10 per cent of the 300 million Indians who visit Asia, US and Europe.

"We haven't done enough to attract them," Mr Wabuyele said and asked the Kenya Tourist Board to intensify promoting Kenya in India.

India's appropriate technology, he said, was cheaper, particularly in computers.

"India's machinery could be used to improve our exports," he said.

He appealed to the Indian High Commission to second an expert to to the Export Promotion Council to assist in transfer of skills and other expertise.

The Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Mr Surendra Kumar dispelled reports that trade relations between Kenya and India was meant to widen the gap between the two countries.

"Both sides need material. We manufacture to compete with the best in the world. It is a two way traffic. We have also never raised tariff against any Kenyan goods," he said.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data on

Click here to view a sector profile of Kenya’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include:

  • AGOA-beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.