Kenya has signed an agreement with the UK that will see Kenyan companies exporting horticultural goods to the UK markets, get duty free access.
The Economic Partnership Agreement was signed on 23 March by Industrialization and Trade CS Betty Maina and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Kenya Theo Clarke.
It will last for 25 years, which means it will run until 2045.
Free access to UK market is important to large- and small-scale producers since it will provide security to the Kenyan companies and also enable them to compete fairly.
“This marks the day for the EPA to be effective," said Maina. "This ratification will see Kenyans access UK markets freely and other domestic markets fairly. EPA allows Kenyans to access UK market duty free and quarter restriction.
"This will prevent Kenya from competing with UK Market for 25 years; that is until 2045.”
According to Maina the agreement will also protect Kenyan firms from competing with firms from the UK that are importing Kenyan produce.
Twenty percent of the Kenyan population is employed in the horticulture sector, 12 percent working in the vegetable sector while 8 percent in the flower sector.
Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Kenya Theo Clarke stated that the UK entered into the agreement with Kenya after learning that it was difficult for Kenya to compete with countries enjoying duty free access to the markets.
“Flower and Horticulture sectors are major employers of majority Kenyans hence British government is working with Kenya to ensure balance in the market,” said Clarke.