TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Mauritius' exports to the US down from last year

Tuesday, 14 September 2004

Source: The East African Standard (Nairobi)

Indigenous entrepreneurs are yet to reap the benefits of trade with the US, Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi has said.

KenyaKituyi said that more than 70 per cent of Kenya's exports into the United States are supplied by foreign-owned companies that temporarily operate in the country.

"These foreign companies even borrow locally, manufacture and export to contact markets created by Kenya government agencies," Kituyi said.

He said the technology these firms use is not 'rocket science', but can easily be adopted by the locals.

Kituyi was speaking in Nairobi during the official opening of a joint trade workshop by Kenyan producers and American importers.

The three-day event is designed to help Kenyan entrepreneurs benefit from improved knowledge and linkages that will enable them successfully sell their products in the American market.

It is also marks an opportunity for Kenyan entrepreneurs to showcase Kenyan products and get feedback from US buyers.

Kituyi said local entrepreneurs could also set up Kenyan-owned businesses, but were constrained by lack of skills and knowledge.

"Our entrepreneurs must be made to understand that the right product is a summation of right price, right material, design/packaging and timely delivery," he said.

Kenya's export markets have in the past been limited to a few countries within the Comesa and the European Union (EU). Last year, about 34 per cent of Kenya's exports went to Comesa while EU accounted for 28 per cent of earnings from commodity trade.

Kituyi said Kenya needed help to expand its range of export products to the US under the Africa's Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) initiative.

The initiative, which came into being in 2000 has not only opened up opportunities in the textile and apparel sub-sector, but has also included several other items under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) that enter the US market duty and quota free.

"We are therefore faced with a challenge of not only increasing the volume of our exports to the US but also diversifying the range of exports with more value added components," said Matanda Wabuyele, Export Promotion Council (EPC) Chief Executive.

Kituyi said trade was more important than aid in the development of the country.

"The biggest investment in trade is investment in knowledge about trade," said Kituyi.

He said the government has also introduced an incubator programme to support infant industries.

The programme, he said, will ensure that Kenya's infant industries also benefit from privileges created by Export Processing.



“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of Kenya’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include:

  • AGOA-beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.