Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Ms. Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development of Kenya, have signed a joint statement announcing the intention to begin negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the countries.
The UAE-Kenya CEPA will be the first bilateral trade deal that the UAE seeks to sign with an African nation. Such an agreement will deepen trade and investment ties between Africa and the Middle East and boost the total value of UAE-Kenya non-oil bilateral trade, which grew to $2.3 billion last year.
As per the statement, “High-level UAE-Kenya CEPA talks will begin in the coming months. They will follow the completion of three CEPAs this year, namely India, Israel, and Indonesia, under the country’s “Projects of the 50” initiative that aims to make the UAE a global business hub.”
Through the CEPA, the UAE and Kenya intend to remove trade barriers on a wide range of goods and services, creating new opportunities for imports and exporters in both countries, and allowing Kenyan companies to leverage the value of the UAE’s geographic and logistical position.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for closer economic integration between our two nations, especially in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, technology, and renewable energy. Announcing our intention to begin negotiations on the UAE-Kenya CEPA reflects our shared commitment to achieving greater economic progress through trade and investment. Our efforts to establish strategic economic partnerships worldwide through our CEPAs will fast-track our growth and prosperity for the next 50 years.”
Kenya’s economy, the largest in East Africa, is forecast to grow 5.5 percent this year from 7.5 percent in 2021, with the modest slowdown reflecting headwinds pressuring global markets.
According to the statement, “Tourism and agriculture remain among its most dominant sectors, although the country has a fast-growing financial services industry coupled with competitive manufacturing and ambitious plans for green technology.”