UAE and Kenya finalize CEPA negotiations

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Rep.Image | Courtesy: WAM

The United Arab Emirates and Kenya have concluded negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), ushering in a new chapter of trade relations between the two nations.

The CEPA will secure vital East and West supply chains, spur investment into priority sectors, and enhance market access for businesses on both sides.

The trade agreement will have a significant positive impact on accelerating investment flows in high-potential areas such as logistics, healthcare, travel and tourism, infrastructure, and ICT, and will offer a platform for SME cooperation and expansion on both sides.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi_UAE_Kenya finalizes CEPA
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade

“The UAE-Kenya Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement marks a significant milestone in our CEPA program. It is a testament to our commitment to strengthening economic ties with the African continent and to creating new opportunities for businesses and investors in both of our countries. The UAE-Kenya CEPA will not only boost trade and investment, but also foster innovation and sustainable growth in key sectors such as agriculture, technology and tourism. We look forward to deepening our relationship with Kenya and to further expanding our presence in Africa as a trusted partner and investor.”

Rebecca Miano, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade and Industry, said that, “The Kenyan leadership has identified trade as a key lever of economic growth and transformation. We are on a national development path that is seeking to increase industrial output, enhance the quality and global competitiveness of that output, and to expand the opportunities for its export. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the UAE will play a key role in these efforts, enabling our exports to reach important markets in Asia and the Middle East, and also stimulating the investment inflows that will further develop our national capabilities. We look forward to its implementation and the mutual benefits it will deliver.”

Kenya’s economy, one of the most promising in Africa, experienced real GDP growth accelerating from 4.8 percent in 2022 to an estimated 5 percent in 2023, while it is projected that real GDP will grow between 4.5 percent and 5.2 percent in 2024. Among others, its services sector, which accounts for 53.6 percent of Kenya’s GDP, and its agriculture sector, comprising around a quarter of the national GDP, offer vast potential for UAE businesses looking to expand into the region.

Foreign trade remains the cornerstone of the UAE’s economic agenda. In 2023, the UAE’s non-oil trade in goods reached an all-time high of $710 billion, a 12.6 percent increase on 2022, and 34.7 percent more than 2021.

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