UAE, Kenya to launch talks over comprehensive economic partnership

Kenya to become first African country to start UAE Cepa talks; UAE-Kenya’s non-oil bilateral trade grew to $2.3 billion last year



Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Betty Maina, Cabi-net Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, signed a joint state-ment in Nairobi. — Supplied photo
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Betty Maina, Cabi-net Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, signed a joint state-ment in Nairobi. — Supplied photo

By Staff Report

Published: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 6:39 PM

Last updated: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 8:01 PM

The UAE and Kenya have agreed to launch talks on a comprehensive economic partnership, which would be the first of its kind between the Gulf Arab state and an African country

The move will boost bilateral non-oil trade, which has grown to $2.3 billion in the last year, according to a statement issued by the UAE Ministry of Economy.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, signed a joint statement in Nairobi announcing the intention to begin negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) between the UAE and Kenya. Dr Khalifa Al Rayssi, Charge d’affaires of UAE Embassy in Kenya, attended the signing.

Through the Cepa, the UAE and Kenya aim to remove trade barriers on a wide range of goods and services, creating new opportunities for imports and exporters in both countries, and enabling Kenyan companies to leverage the value of the UAE’s geographic and logistical position.

“There is tremendous opportunity for closer economic integration between our two nations, especially in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, technology and renewable energy,” said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi.

“Announcing our intention to begin negotiations on the UAE-Kenya Cepa reflects our shared commitment to achieving greater economic progress through trade and investment. Our efforts to establish strategic economic partnerships worldwide through our Cepas will fast-track our growth and prosperity for the next 50 years,” the minister said.

Kenya's economy, the largest in East Africa, is forecast to grow 5.5 per cent this year from 7.5 per cent in 2021, with the modest slowdown reflecting headwinds pressuring global markets. Tourism and agriculture remain among its most dominant sectors, although the country has a fast-growing financial services industry coupled with competitive manufacturing and ambitious plans for green technology.

High-level UAE-Kenya Cepa talks will begin in the coming months. They will follow the completion of three Cepas this year, namely India, Israel and Indonesia, under the country’s Projects of the 50 initiative that aims to make the UAE a global business hub.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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