A Joint Statement was signed in Nairobi by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development of Kenya, announcing the intention to begin negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and Kenya. At the signing, Dr. Khalifa Al Rayssi, Charge d’Affaires of the UAE Embassy in Kenya, was present.
Kenya-UAE CEPA will be the UAE’s first bilateral trade agreement with an African country. It will increase the value of UAE-Kenya non-oil bilateral trade, which grew to US$ 2.3 billion last year, as well as strengthen trade and investment ties between Africa and the Middle East. CEPA will eliminate trade barriers for a wide range of goods and services. This will result in new opportunities for importers and exporters in both countries, as well as allowing Kenyan companies to capitalize on UAE’s geographical and logistical advantages.
This year, Kenya’s economy will grow 5.5 percent compared to 7.5 percent in 2021, reflecting global market headwinds. The country’s most dominant industries are tourism and agriculture, but it has a growing financial services industry and ambitious plans for green technology. In the coming months, UAE-Kenya CEPA talks will begin at a high level. As part of the UAE’s Projects of the 50 initiative, three CEPAs have already been signed this year with India, Israel, and Indonesia.