The European Union on Tuesday signed a $27 million funding for TradeMark Africa to facilitate a five-year programme that will boost Kenya’s exports and support the government in creating a conducive business environment.
The signing that took place during the EU-Kenya Business Forum was witnessed by Kenya’s President William Ruto, the EU Ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger and Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, among other dignitaries.
The facility, named Business Environment and Export Enhancement Programme (Beeep) will be implemented in partnership with the government of Kenya.
Beeep will complement the goal of the Integrated National Export Development and Promotion Strategy (INEDPS) that seeks to grow agricultural exports by an average of 25 percent annually.
Negative trade balance
The overarching goal is to close the persistent negative balance of trade through export growth, factor productivity and stimulate economic development and job creation, in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
“As matters stand now, the EU is the largest destination for Kenya’s exports accounting for about Ksh170 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2021, said Ruto when he officially opened the two-day EU-Kenya business forum, which brings together 500 business people – 250 from Kenya and 250 from the European Union.
The business forum is organised by the European Union in partnership with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) and the European Business Council (EBC).
Destination for investments
“With Beeep everything comes together — the private sector, the government and financing institutions. We are happy to support the Kenyan government in achieving a sustainable growth of its exports, including greening of transport and logistics. Beeep aligns fully with our Global Gateway Strategy. The EU support to create a more conducive business environment both at national and county level will make Kenya an even more attractive destination for investments,” said Ms Geiger.
Beeep will focus on solutions that resolve farm gate constraints, storage and logistics challenges, processing, value addition and information access.
“We seek to establish strong partnerships that would further open up trade and investment opportunities between Kenya and the European market. At the same time, we work on the overall business environment of Kenya and collaborate with the government to make the country more competitive and attractive for investors,” said Ms Carole Kariuki, Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Private Sector Alliance.