Lewes MP Maria Caulfield praises latest trade deal with Kenya

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield has praised the latest UK trade deal that has been agreed with the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya.

The agreement will ensure all companies operating in Kenya, including British businesses, can continue to benefit from duty-free access as they export products including vegetables and flowers to their customers back in the UK.

Top goods imports to the UK from Kenya in 2019 were in coffee, tea and spices (£121 million), vegetables (£79 million) and live trees and plants, mostly flowers (£54 million). 

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The UK market accounts for 43 per cent of total exports of vegetables from Kenya as well as at least nine per cent of cut flowers, and this agreement will support Kenyans working in these sectors by maintaining tariff-free market access to the UK.

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield

It also guarantees continued market access for UK exporters, who together sold £815m in goods and services to Kenya last year.

As the largest economy in East Africa and among the top 10 across the continent, Kenya is an important trading partner for the UK.

This deal also recognises the importance of the wider region - other members of the East African Community trade block are able to join the agreement when they are ready.

Mrs Caulfield said: “This deal is a triumph for both the UK and for Kenya. The UK market accounts for 43 per cent of Kenya’s exports of vegetables meaning we play a huge part in the Kenyan economy.

“Kenya is also the largest economy in East Africa giving great opportunities for UK businesses in the country.

“The agreement is also open to other countries in the East African Community, giving the potential for further opportunities.”

International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena added: “I’m delighted we’ve reached a trade agreement with Kenya. This deal gives businesses the certainty that they’ll be able to continue trading as they do now, supporting jobs and livelihoods in both our countries.”

“I look forward to forging further trade ties with Kenya - the largest economy in the region - and working with other East African countries to agree trade continuity, harnessing free and fair trade to secure shared prosperity for our peoples.”

In under two years, the UK government has signed or agreed in principle trade agreements with 52 countries.

Total UK trade with these countries was worth £146 billion in 2019.