The trade deal between Kenya and the UK is uncertain as the Kenyan Parliament blocks ratification
The trade agreement between Kenya and Great Britain, signed on December 8 between Kenyan Trade Minister Betty Maina and her British counterpart Ranil Jayawardena, was greeted with optimism by the business communities of both countries. However, last week the Kenyan parliament refused to ratify it. This came after legislators asked questions about the fine print of the trade agreement and sparked tumultuous discussions that could ruin Britain’s first post-Brexit bilateral trade agreement with an African country.
Fpcfreshtalkdaily.co.uk quoted Dagoretti MP, John Kiarie, as saying: “The EPA that has been put forward was taken from the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiated by the East African Community (EAC) and the European Union (EU). So is Kenya ratifying this agreement without any other partner country? “
The Kenyan parliament also questioned public participation of the treaty, highlighting clauses that raised concerns among some stakeholders. According to the government, the trade deal is important as the UK receives a third of all Kenyan exports to the EU.
“The analysis of the UK market potential for products intended for the implementation of Kenya’s national export agenda shows great opportunities that can only be exploited through a secured market access agreement that is now being provided by the East African Community (EAC) / Kenya-UK EPA . Said Ms. Maina in a memorandum to Parliament in which she explained the deal. “The market potential awaiting the exploitation of Kenya is estimated at Sh20 trillion compared to the current export level of Kenya, which is 0.2 percent of the total UK market size.”
Agricultural exporters from the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya and the Kenya Flower Council also supported the deal.