Kenya to review strategy to boost exports to U.S.

Workers unload bags of rice on January 19, 2011 at the Port of Abidjan where 80% of Ivory Coast's exports transit. EU-registered ships have been barred from dealing with Ivory Coast's main cocoa ports in line with sanctions over the nation's controversial November presidential poll. The European Union last weekend slapped sanctions on outcast incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo and 84 of his associates, as well as 11 economic entities in the world's top cocoa producer. AFP PHOTO/ ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Kenya plans to review its trade strategy to boost exports to the United States, officials said on Thursday.

Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary in the Ministry for Trade, told a media briefing that the first African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy for Kenya was developed in 2012.

“We are conducting an in-depth review of the current strategy in order to take stock of its implementation and success as well as to suggest interventions to boosting exports to the United States,” Kiptoo said.

“Furthermore, within the new dispensation of devolved system of government, the strategy will collaborate with the county governments, as appropriate, to exploit the potential market,” he said during the validation workshop on the national AGOA strategy review.

AGOA is a preferential market access system given to specific countries in Africa and the Caribbean by the United States.

Under the trade agreement, most of sub-Saharan African countries are allowed to export some products duty free to the U.S. market.

Since it was put in place by the U.S. in May, 2000, AGOA that mainly caters for textile and apparels trade, has been extended four times, the latest being in June, 2015, when it was extended for a further ten years to 2025.

Ministry of Trade data indicates that the United States is currently Kenya’s third largest export destination.

Kiptoo said that Kenyan exports to the United States have grown from 110 million dollars in 2000 to 551.5 million dollars in 2016.

Kenya’s exports to U.S. comprise mainly textiles and apparels made in the export processing zones. Enditem

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