Kenya-UK trade pact to hold until year end


British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya will trade with the UK under the current preferential terms only up to December 31, Britain has said, just one week after its official exit from the European Union (EU).

From January, the trade arrangement will have to shift to the terms agreed under a new deal that the UK hopes to conclude with the East African Community bloc this year.

"Kenya will continue to trade with the UK on the same terms as it does now until December 31, 2020. During this transition period, the UK will engage the EAC to secure a trade agreement, which will ensure duty and quota-free access to the UK in the long term,” a British High Commission spokesperson said in response to the Business Daily queries.

Britain was the fifth biggest destination of Kenyan goods in the period to November last year behind Uganda (Sh49.36 billion), the United States (Sh46.4 billion), the Netherlands (Sh42 billion) and Pakistan, which stood at fourth place after importing Kenyan goods worth Sh41.1 billion.

The UK High Commission’s comments came as Kenyan business leaders remained cautiously optimistic about deeper economic ties with the UK after it formally detached itself from the EU last Friday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London during the recent UK-Africa Investment Summit, and agreed the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership.

Mutual Prosperity is one of the five pillars of the partnership, and ensuring trade thrives between our nations will be a priority going forwards," the UK High Commission in Nairobi said.