Kenya and the US are committed to developing bilateral relations, contributing to the deepening in trade, cooperation and investment for the two countries.
Constance Hamilton, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa said because the African markets are dynamic and evolving, “Our vision is to establish a Free Trade Agreement with an African partner to enhance value-added exports and create a positive trade dynamic in the region.”
She said the US is transitioning to a modern free trade agreement with African partners aligned with its long term growth prospects.
Speaking at the second edition of the Amcham Business Summit 2019, a strategic platform to facilitate trade between the US and East Africa, with themed ‘Partnering for prosperity’, Brionne Dawson, Senior Director, East and Southern Africa further reiterated that “Although East Africa has been one of the fastest-growing regions economically, trade between the US and East Africa is still limited. We hope that the ongoing negotiations between representatives of the US and Kenya continue to drive progress in Trade.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta said in his opening statement that, “The private sector will be key to developing our continued partnerships with the United States. Last year, through a working group, Kenya and the US developed a strategic partnership which gives us some privileges in trading with the US.”
He added, “We have made steady progress in improving our business environment. This reflects the deliberate actions we have taken to promote development. Through enhancing security and infrastructure.”
President Kenyatta said his Government strives to uphold good business practices and keep the business fair and have a level playing field whether local or international. “We invite you to partner with us and work together in pushing our social and economic development forward.”
US ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter said the US will continue to champion for mutual business ties with Africa as opposed to doing donor aids even post the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that expires in 2025.
”The legislation, which removed all tariffs on 6,400 products available for export to the US, helped to move the US-Africa relationship from aid to trade, from donor-recipient to one of mutual benefit and gain,” McCarte said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the two countries have strong social-economic ties that will go beyond America’s trade treaty with Africa.
”AGOA has been successful in straightening Kenya’s economic market. I thank and ask the private sector to be key to developing this relationship further,” Uhuru said.
Kenya exported to the USA goods valued at USD 661 million in 2018, up from USD 588 million in 2017. This ranks the USA among the top three export destinations in the world.
The two days’ American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Kenya Summit is being held in partnership with the Kenya and U.S. governments, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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The program features doing business in-country forums, in addition to in-depth sector forums on manufacturing, agribusiness, infrastructure, energy, health, and the digital economy.