NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya will have to negotiate new trade deals with
both the European Union (EU) and Britain in order to maintain its
market share, an official said Tuesday.
British Prime Minister Theresa May last week set out her Brexit
strategy, including leaving the EU single market, which will prompt
renegotiation of trade deals with African countries and other
Nelson Ndirangu, Director of Economic Affairs and International
Trade at Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade, confirmed that Nairobi was in the process of initiating
negotiations with Britain and the EU.
“We are ready to employ strategies to help us sustain our market
share in the EU and Britain,” Ndirangu said.
Britain accounts for a 20-percent share out of the total Kenyan
exports to the EU market, according to Ndirangu.
Kenya has been negotiating with the EU over the trading
framework—Economic Partnership Agreement—for the past ten years.
With Britain preparing to leave EU formally, Kenya is now forced to
devise new ways to maintain its market share in the EU as well as in
According to Kenya’s Economic Survey 2016, Kenya exported goods to
the EU market worth 1.45 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, out of which
406 million dollars of goods went to the British market.
Ndirangu said that the new trade negotiations will border on
maintaining the market shares in both the EU market and the British
“Our intention is to negotiate for a similar or slightly better than
the current trade regime,” Ndirangu said.
Kenya’s exports to the EU market include flowers, French beans,
cowpeas, coffee, and tea. Currently Kenya is the main exporter of
cut flowers for the EU.
The East African nation is not the only African countries that will
have to negotiate new trade deals with the EU and Britain.
Though trade analysts believe the impact of Britain’s EU exit on
many African economies will be short-term and relatively
insignificant, Britain will have two years to renegotiate trade
agreements with African countries.
Other quarters however argue it is likely that Britain would leave
many existing trade agreements in place and thus mitigate risk of
Most of the trade deals Britain has in place with African countries
are essentially trade agreements with the EU, which has exclusive
jurisdiction over its members’ trade deals.