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UAE and Kenya Conclude Terms of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa)

UAE and Kenya Conclude Terms of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa)

In a significant development, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kenya have finalized negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa). This landmark deal aims to bolster economic ties between the two nations and explore opportunities across various sectors, including food production, mining, technology, and logistics.

Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, hailed the agreement as a pivotal step towards enhancing cooperation with one of Africa’s most dynamic economies. He emphasized the potential for mutual growth and highlighted Kenya’s status as a major partner for the UAE.

According to Dr. Al Zeyoudi, bilateral trade between the UAE and Kenya witnessed a substantial increase of 26.4% year-on-year in 2023, amounting to $3.1 billion. This underscores the growing economic collaboration between the two nations.

The UAE-Kenya Cepa represents the third such agreement between the UAE and an African country, following similar deals with Mauritius and the Republic of Congo. It reflects the UAE’s commitment to diversifying its economic partnerships and expanding its presence in high-growth regions.

With Kenya’s real GDP growth reaching an estimated 5% in 2023, and projected to remain robust in 2024, the Cepa is expected to accelerate investment flows in key sectors such as logistics, healthcare, tourism, and ICT. Moreover, the agreement is set to facilitate the expansion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and promote innovation and sustainable growth.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade emphasized the vast potential offered by Kenya’s services and agriculture sectors, which account for a significant portion of the country’s GDP. Additionally, Kenya’s recent decision to waive visa requirements for global visitors is expected to stimulate tourism and further enhance business opportunities.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi expressed optimism about the prospects of the UAE-Kenya Cepa, highlighting its role in fostering innovation and strengthening bilateral relations. He affirmed the UAE’s commitment to deepening its partnership with Kenya and expanding its footprint in Africa.

Rebecca Miano, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade, and Industry, welcomed the agreement, describing it as a crucial driver of economic growth and transformation for Kenya. She emphasized Kenya’s focus on increasing industrial output, enhancing competitiveness, and expanding export opportunities.

The comprehensive economic partnership agreement with the UAE is expected to play a pivotal role in achieving these objectives by enabling Kenyan exports to access key markets in Asia and the Middle East. Additionally, it is anticipated to attract investment inflows that will further develop Kenya’s national capabilities.

Overall, the UAE-Kenya Cepa marks a new chapter in trade relations between the two countries, promising to secure vital supply chains, spur investment, and create opportunities for businesses on both sides. As both nations look ahead, they are poised to leverage this agreement to drive economic growth, foster innovation, and strengthen ties in the years to come.

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