Kenya to Seek Fresh Deals With Britain


President Uhuru Kenyatta says Kenya will negotiate new agreements with the United Kingdom once it formalises its withdrawal from the European Union.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said on Sunday the bilateral agreement will enable Kenya to continue benefiting from the UK and the EU.

“The immediate repercussions for Kenya are limited. However, with the exit, there will be a need for both Kenya and the East African Community to negotiate separate trade agreements with the United Kingdom,” Mr Esipisu told reporters at a press conference at State House, Nairobi.

“Our current engagements are within the framework of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU. Our negotiation of a new framework for bilateral trade is something that, if needed, will happen over a period of time and we will continue to engage the United Kingdom on this issue.”

Britain voted last week to leave the EU, becoming the first country to do so since the bloc was established after the second World War.

The proponents for that vote had argued for a more independent British economy which would regain its lost global influence.

But the result has been a loss of value of the sterling pound against major currencies such as the dollar.

Britain was part of a deal with East African Community member states in 2014 to allow flower exporters duty and quota-free privileges.

As a member of the EAC, Kenya has been a beneficiary of the deals called Economic Partnership Agreements.

According to latest figures from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the UK is only behind the Netherlands (a EU member) in trade imports from Kenya.

In the first quarter of 2016, the Netherlands bought Sh11.89 billion worth of goods, followed by the UK (Sh10.79 billion) and the United States (Sh9.06 billion).

Though assuring Kenyans of continuity, President Kenyatta admitted that both the UK and the EU are important partners on issues beyond trade.

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