Kenya Private Sector Consortium Ratified its Contribution to the Incessant Kenya – US Free Trade Negotiations
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- Comprised of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya (AMCHAM), the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), the organization have approved the process.
The four private sector organizations discern the negotiations as an alternative for bulgy, reasonable and symmetrical business between the two states, that will catalyze mutual economic growth, they explained in a mutual statement on July 9th, 2020.
“We fully support the efforts of Kenya and the United States to negotiate a comprehensive and high-standard trade agreement to grow two-way trade and private sector investment,” states Nick Nesbitt – Chairman of the Private Sector Consortium on the Kenya – U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) who is also creasing as the Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the East Africa Business Council.
Kenya and the United States have an extended record of marketable relations pursuing around 70 years. The declaration in March 2020 of the expectation to mediate a bilateral business consensus between the two nations, noted a climacteric crossroads in the marriage and tooted a deepening of Kenya – U.S commercial complicity.
The two countries currently trade under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) agreement which is set to expire in 2025. Irrespective of having this commitment in position, trade between Kenya and the US continues exclusive with two-way goods trade registered at $1.1 billion (Sh117.8 billion) in 2019.
Over the new agreement, Kenya struts to benefit from increased trade in goods and services, increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the transfer of technology, knowledge, and know-how, the consortium notes.
This, they say will strengthen the local skill base and heighten the competitiveness of locally produced goods and services. Thus, in turn shall encourage tremendous admission and growth of Kenyan products and services into markets in the US and across Africa in expectation of the entire enactment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Kenya being East Africa’s largest business, financial, and transportation hub, with 80% of East Africa’s trade flowing through Mombasa Port, the US continues to profit from access to assorted supply chains, local partnerships, markets, and expansion opportunities which will give resilience and growth to American businesses and the U.S. economy.
Phillipine Mtikitiki, AmCham – Kenya Board President noted: “A detailed, rules-based system allows for increased ease of trade and doing business between the two countries which can spur mutual prosperity, a win-win situation where both countries benefit from comprehensive and private sector investment leading to job and wealth creation”.
On his side, KNCCI President – Richard Ngatia stated: “This agreement will increase access to both the Kenyan and the US market driving growth in exports for local manufacturers and accelerated growth of SMEs, the service economy and digital trade.”
He endorsed that, consumers also stand to benefit from expanded choice of high-quality goods and services as a result of the competition it will create in the market. The trickle-down effect of the FTA is set to fill out and augment prevailing regional trade agreements such as the East African Community (EAC) and the AfCFTA.
KAM Chief Executive Officer – Phyllis Wakiaga explained the FTA has the probable to revitalize both local and regional manufacturing sectors.
“Increased opportunities for export of goods to the US and across Africa with the implementation of the AfCFTA will provide opportunities for complementary linkages in various industry sectors and the development of regional value chains” Wakiaga asserted.
With the myriad of transnational cooperation increasingly key to economic growth in an ever-increasingly related world, the existing health disaster and financial challenges posed by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic(Covid-19) have given prominence to the need for robust economic alliances between countries, Nesbitt comments.
The FTA sits to improve the long-term economic expectation for Kenya, positioning the country as a continental prototype for economic rebirth through global trade.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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