18 March 2017

Kenya-UK Trade Relations to Remain Stable Despite Brexit

Nairobi — United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said Kenya-UK trade relations will continue to blossom despite Britain's exit from the European Union (EU).

Speaking during a joint press conference with Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Amina Mohamed on Friday, Johnson said the trade relations between the two countries are mutually beneficial as London benefitted immensely from Kenyan coffee with Nairobi tapping from UK's automobile industry.

"We now have an opportunity to do more with Kenya to open up trade around the world. This is already an extraordinary trading partnership," he said.

According to the Foreign Secretary, 75 per cent of coffee drunk in London and close to 100 per cent of flowers used in UK were imported from Kenya, something that made the trade relations between the country unique.

He said Britain will continue to grant Kenyan products duty-free access to the UK, maintaining the status quo under EU's Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

According the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UK is the largest investor in the country with over 210 British companies based in Kenya valued at over STG £ 2.5 billion.

The trade balance however remains twisted in favor of Britain as vehicle manufacturers such as Land Rover continue to dominate the automobile industry in the absence of a local car manufacturer.

In 2014, President Kenyatta surprised many policy analysts as he showed up during Madaraka Day celebrations using a Toyata Land Cruiser mounted with bullet proof classes as opposed to a Britain manufactured Land Rover which has been the Commander-in-Chief vehicle used by the Kenya Defence Forces since time immemorial.

During the celebration, the president's motorcade was flooded with cars from the Japan car manufacturer prompting questions on the trade relations between the two countries.

Also missing during the celebrations were German-made Mercedes cars which were often used as the presidential limousine.

The presidency has however ruled out the notion that it was shifting its relation from the Western countries saying Kenya was willing to partner with any country provided it was in the best interests of the nation.

CS Amina reaffirmed the country's commitment to continue trading with Britain given the country's commitment to maintaining conducive trade ties with Kenya post-Brexit.\

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