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UAE to discuss first African bilateral trade deal with Kenya

Tie, Accessories, Accessory WAM
The UAE has made it clear that it prioritises a more robust trade relationship with Kenya. Pictured are UAE trade minister Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi and Kenya's trade secretary Betty Maina

The United Arab Emirates has signed an agreement with Kenya to begin talks on a comprehensive economic partnership, the first of its kind between the emirates and an African country.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade, and Betty Maina, cabinet secretary, ministry of industrialisation, trade and enterprise development of Kenya, signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Non-oil bilateral trade between the two countries grew to $2.3 billion last year.

“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 said.

“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.”

Kenya’s economy, the largest in East Africa, is forecast to grow 5.5 percent this year from 7.5 percent in 2021. It’s dominant sectors are tourism and agriculture, while the country also has a fast-growing financial services industry.

It is the fourth CEPA the UAE has signed this year, following on from India, Israel and Indonesia.