The UK finally left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
The United Kingdom is a key and well-tested strategic partner of Kenya. It is the 5th largest export destination for Kenya's exports. In 2018 Kenya's exports to the UK amounted to Ksh. 40.20 billion, (pound sterling 304.6 million) which is about 6.6% of Kenya's exports. During the same period, Kenya's imports amounted to ksh.31.6 billion (pound sterling 239.4 million). A surplus.
Equally important, British businesses cumulatively form the largest pool of foreign investors in Kenya with more than 220 companies operating in Kenya with investment topping £3 billion. An estimated one in 10 Kenyans employed in the formal sector works for a British company.
Kenya has established a market niche in the United Kingdom for some of its leading products such as tea, coffee, flowers, fruits, and vegetables and accounts for 27% of fresh produce and 56% of the black tea market in the UK. This is a matter referenced fondly by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Africa Investment Summit.
"The critical matter here for Kenya is continued market access and increase of UK investments in Africa with Kenya as the anchor country," said High Commissioner Manoah Esipisu.
"Given that UK is 5th largest economy globally and one of our largest trading partners, guaranteeing market access is a strategic move on the part of Kenya," Esipisu added.
In recognition of the critical role played by the private sector, President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration has over the last six years, implemented business friendly reforms to foster rapid social-economic transformation. Kenya is now ranked 3rd in Africa and 56th globally having moved up 80 places from position 136 in 2014 in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking.
Further, Kenya is the third largest private equity market in Sub-Saharan Africa and has used its advanced technological capability to digitize most business processes which has significantly increased efficiency and transparency.
Kenya's transformation agenda aims to achieve accelerated and inclusive economic growth with priority on the "Big four" namely, food and nutrition security; affordable housing; manufacturing and universal healthcare. These programs and associated enabling investments in infrastructure, energy, technology, water and sanitation, offer numerous investment opportunities for both Kenyan and British investors. I welcome you to seize these opportunities.
Data for 2017 shows that returns on UK investment in Africa are double those of UK Foreign Direct Investment in the rest if the world. Investing in Kenya accords you access to a wider African market.