TRADE TIES

Kenya-Ireland trade improves by 60% on strong bilateral ties

Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan estimated the current trade between Kenya and Ireland at $160 million

In Summary

• Irish exports into Kenya were valued at €88 million. On other hand, Kenya’s exports to Ireland were valued at €15 million in 2017.

Irish Ambassador to Kenya Fionnuala Quinlan
Image: VICTOR IMBOTO

Strong bilateral ties has fueled business between Kenya and Ireland, with total trade growing by 60 per cent in two years since 2016.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call to Radio Africa Group yesterday, Irish Ambassador to Kenya Fionnuala Quinlan praised strong business ties between the two countries, saying more is being done to bridge the deficit.

‘’Since the establishment of the Embassy in 2014, trade between Ireland and Kenya has increased by an average of 20 per cent annually,’’ Quinlan said.

 

She estimated the current trade between Kenya and Ireland at $160 million, an increase from $100 million in 2016.

Principal exports from Ireland to Kenya include manufacturing metals, office machines, cereals and beverages. Key imports from Kenya to Ireland include coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables.

The 2017 statistics from the Embassy show that trade in services, financial services and computer services accounted for a large percentage of Irish exports into Kenya was valued at €88 million. On other hand, Kenya’s exports to Ireland were valued at €15 million.

To bridge the trading gap that is currently in favor of Ireland, the Irish embassy is working with Kenya’s business bodies to encourage exports and foreign direct investments.

It is for instance working with KEPSA to assist them establish a business hub and support members access trade and investment opportunities. It also supports KenInvest to develop the One Stop Centre that allows investors to get the necessary assistance in setting up operations in Kenya.

In 2014, the embassy established the Business Ireland Kenya network to grow and strengthen the linkages between Irish and Kenyan businesses.

‘’We continue to see positive trends in terms of the numbers of Irish companies interested in the Kenya market and as of 2018 we estimate that at least 15 Irish companies invested in Kenya in agriculture, manufacturing, telecommunications, logistics, ICT, Financial services, pharmaceuticals and engineering services,’’ she said.

 

Some of the Irish companies operating in Kenya are Bimeda, Kerry Group, IPM Potato Group and My Dawa.

To encourage further investments and joint ventures in the agriculture sector, which goes hand in hand with the Food Security pillar of the Big 4, the Irish government every year puts out a call for proposals for matching funds for joint venture proposals.