NAIROBI: The EU on Tuesday announced a €25 million funding for TradeMark Africa to help close the negative balance of trade.
The fund will facilitate a five-year programme that will boost Kenya’s exports and support the government in creating a conducive export environment and reduce the carbon footprint of exports. It will also strengthen the balance of trade through export growth, factor productivity and stimulate economic development and job creation.
EU Ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger and TradeMark Africa CEO David Beer signed the agreement in the presence of Kenya Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria during the ongoing EU-Kenya Business Forum in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The Business Environment and Export Enhancement Programme will build on interventions already supported by the Kenyan government and will complement the goal of the Integrated National Export Development and Promotion Strategy that seeks to grow Kenya’s agricultural exports, TradeMark Africa said in statement.
TradeMark Africa, which has rebranded to TradeMark East Africa, is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established in 2010 to grow prosperity through increased trade across Regional Economic Communities.
Ambassador Geiger said BEEEP brings everything 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 creating a more conducive business environment both at national and county level will make Kenya an even more attractive destination for investments,” the envoy said.
Beer has lauded BEEEP as an initiative that will support Kenya to expand and green her export base.
“While Kenya’s export growth has been consistently strong, it can be much stronger. The opportunities in the next 10 years will come from developing low carbon supply chains, enabling Kenya to take a larger share of world markets.
“We look forward to partnering with the government and private sector to help make this happen for Kenya’s horticulture exports – avocado, mango and vegetables. We think these have the strongest potential to boost exports, add value and create jobs,” Beer said.
According to TradeMark Africa, the programme will focus on solutions that resolve supply chain constraints, and storage and logistics challenges.
It will also seek to improve processing, value addition and information access; and enable reforms that will enhance the business environment.
Interventions will include increasing supply of locally produced goods that meet export market requirements, reduced trading times and costs, and helping shift export supply chains from air freight to sea freight.
Other areas of support include harmonising trade processes and procedures, improving access to quality standards and phytosanitary measures, as well as enhancing capacity of public sector actors to implement necessary business reforms at the national and county levels.