Kenya moves to focus on Africa to grow exports

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Kenya plans to focus on Africa in order to boost growth of exports, an official said on Wednesday.

Export Promotion Council (EPC) Director Solomon Boit told journalists in Nairobi that Kenya is pursuing a number of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with African states in order to smoothen trade.

“We have identified a number of countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Angola that have huge potential markets for Kenyan goods,” Boit said during the opening ceremony of the 34th edition of Indian Export Promotion Council trade fair.

“We have discovered that there is a lot of potential for Kenya products in Africa which can help us diversify our export markets,” he added.

He noted that increasing economic growth in the past decade has made the continent become a large potential market for Kenyan goods.

“We are also targeting African countries because these nations have consumer tastes and preferences similar to that of Kenya,” he said.

Kenya also wants to take advantage of the close proximity of the Africa nations to expand its export volumes.

Data from the Economic Survey of 2016 show that Kenya exported 2.4 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods to Africa in 2015, which represented 42 percent of total exports. Agriculture accounted for over 60 percent of total exports.

He said Africa is a huge importer of agricultural products in which Kenya has a competitive advantage.

“We want to sell meat, dairy, vegetables and cereal to our Africa counterparts,” he noted.

The director said Europe and US have stringent requirements for Kenyan exports compared to that of Africa states.

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