Free trade agreement between Kenya and the United States
takes yet another opportunity following a roundtable discussion between
government officials from both countries, and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance
The move was enhanced to explore how the private sector can
support the bilateral effort and take full advantage of investment and trade
opportunities that will arise from the deal.
This comes as a follow up to the recent visit of President
Kenyatta to US, which led to the two countries reaching at free trade agreement
The deal will be the first US FTA with a sub-Saharan African
nation and potentially a model nation will use to enhance its trade and
investment relationship with other African countries.
Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) CEO Florizelle Liser noted
that a Kenya-US FTA could build on Kenya’s success in trading value-added
products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
“It is also an opportunity for the private sectors of
both the U.S. and Kenya to deepen trade and investment ties in key sectors from
energy to banking, construction, ICT/digital trade, health, manufacturing and
services trade,” said Ms. Liser.
Ms. Liser mentioned that the roundtable today was the first
of many that CCA plans on hosting with KEPSA as a long-time partner.
“We would like to use this platform to provide regular
updates on ongoing negotiations, ensure private sector participation and
support, and extract real time opportunities for businesses,” she added.
KEPSA CEO Carole Karuga emphasized the importance of growth
of the FTA between Kenya and the USA stating that the increased trade opportunity
for export and import would lead to growth of business.
Ms. Karuga pointed out that Kenya is the leader of the East
African Community and went further to underscore that Kenya, among the
businesses in Africa participating in global trade, is leading the pact.
“Kenya should draw lessons from Morocco on the challenges
and opportunities that are emerging with the free trade agreement between them
and the US in order to learn and eventually do better,” she urged.
US Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter said, “We look forward
to working together to create a free-trade agreement that allows Kenyan and
American businesses to benefit from increased access to each other’s markets
and one where both our consumers will enjoy greater prosperity though expanded
choice and competition within the marketplace. A successful U.S.-Kenya FTA will
stand as a landmark for East Africa and for all of Africa.”
PS, State Department of Trade, Amb. Johnson Weru appreciated
the synergy between Government and private sector, adding that the government
is willing to walk this journey together with the private sector.
“As we speak there is a government team that is also
dissecting the deliberations that took place in Washington last week. Kenya has
a great appetite for this opportunity,” said Mr. Weru.