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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan imports down 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The value of Kenyan’s imports declined by 3.9 percent on a yearly basis to stand at 421.2 billion Kenyan shillings (4.21 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2019, latest data showed.

Total exports declined by 3.0 percent to 156.9 billion Kenyan shillings.

These resulted in a trade deficit of 264.3 billion Kenyan shillings during the quarter ending March, compared with 276.8 billion Kenyan shillings in the first quarter of 2018, according to the data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on Monday.

The decline in imports was mainly a result of decrease in imports of industrial machinery and petroleum products, said KNBS.

The data also showed that Kenya’s current account deficit improved by 32.7 percent year-on-year to 78.8 billion Kenyan shillings in the first quarter.

The narrowing of the current account deficit was supported by an increase in net service inflows and a decrease in merchandise trade deficit, according to KNBS in a statement.

KNBS said that Kenya’s inflows in international trade in services grew up by 14.3 percent to 149.5 billion Kenyan shillings while outflows reduced by 10.1 percent to 88.8 billion Kenyan shillings.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Kenyan exports to Asia down 20.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s exports to Asia fell by 20.9 percent on a yearly basis to 40.9 billion Kenyan shillings (409 million U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2019, latest data showed.

The drop in earnings from tea exports to Pakistan was the main reason for the overall decline in total exports to Far East Asia, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said in a statement on Monday.

Notable declines in exports to Asia were recorded in the value of total exports to Pakistan and India which registered declines of 29.9 percent and 50.8 percent respectively, while value of total exports to China and Japan increased during the quarter under review, said KNBS.

Imports from Asia accounted for 61.2 percent of Kenya’s total imports during the period under review. Reductions in value of imports from China, India, Japan and Malaysia which registered declines of 12.4 percent, 22.9 percent, 11.1 percent and 25.1 percent respectively, contributed to the decline in imports from the region during the quarter, said KNBS.

The east African nation’s exports to the European Union rose 6.6 percent to 40.1 billion Kenyan shillings from January to March, boosted by increased shipment of agricultural produce.

Kenya’s exports to Africa were valued at 53.4 billion Kenyan shillings in the first quarter while imports from Africa amounted to 52.6 billion Kenyan shillings.

The value of Kenyan’s total imports declined by 3.9 percent on a yearly basis to stand at 421.2 billion Kenyan shillings in the first quarter of 2019, while total exports declined by 3.0 percent to 156.9 billion Kenyan shillings, KNBS data showed.

These resulted in a trade deficit of 264.3 billion Kenyan shillings during the quarter ending March, compared with 276.8 billion Kenyan shillings in the first quarter of 2018, according to the data from the KNBS.

The decline in imports was mainly a result of decrease in imports of industrial machinery and petroleum products, said KNBS.

The data also showed that Kenya’s current account deficit improved by 32.7 percent year-on-year to 78.8 billion Kenyan shillings in the first quarter.

The narrowing of the current account deficit was supported by an increase in net service inflows and a decrease in merchandise trade deficit, according to KNBS in a statement.

(One U.S. dollar equals about 100 Kenyan shillings.)
.

World Bank pledge to back Kenyan development blueprint

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Hafez Ghanem, vice president of the World Bank for Africa on Monday assured of the lender’s support for Kenya’s development blueprint dubbed the Big Four Agenda.

Ghanem, who held talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, singled out the provision of affordable healthcare as an area that his organization is keen on collaborating with the Government to ensure its success.

"The World Bank is committed to supporting Kenya in advancing the Big Four Agenda both in technical and financial cooperation," Ghanem said in a statement issued from Kenyatta’s office after the meeting.

Ghanem commended Kenya for taking the lead in the East African region, noting that the World Bank is working on a program to develop a digital market in East Africa that will start with Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, but later expand to the other countries in the region.

Speaking during the meeting, Kenyatta praised the collaboration between his administration and the World Bank, saying the partnership has seen implementation of projects that have impacted positively on the lives of Kenyans.
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COMESA calls for upgrading diagnostic labs to boost agricultural exports

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on Monday urged member states to upgrade and accredit their diagnostic laboratories for testing agricultural products and managing pesticides in order to boost agro-exports.

COMESA said in a statement released in Nairobi that most of intra-regional trade is on agricultural products due to limited value addition.

"The new COMESA-led project on mainstreaming sanitary and phytosanitary standards capacity building into national policy frameworks will help the trading bloc meet international plant and animal standards," said Thierry Kalonji, director of industry and agriculture at COMESA.

The 21-member bloc is developing a framework known as ‘Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)’ and was developed by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF).

As part of the framework, industry experts last week attended a three-day training in Kenya on a framework of identifying and prioritizing health standards issues that impeded export of agriculture commodities.

Kalonji said that a similar training has been conducted in COMESA states including Uganda and others are lined up for Rwanda, Malawi and Ethiopia.

"The training is aimed at equipping the institutions dealing with production and export of agriculture and livestock products, with the skills to apply the P-IMA tool to identify SPS priorities that can be mainstreamed into national planning and investment frameworks," he added.

             

 

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