Kenya eyes duty-free access to South Korean market

Kenya is engaging South Korea for a trade deal that will see reduction or complete removal of duty on exports to the Asian country. Targeted is coffee, the current leading export alongside tea, mate and spices, which attract an eight per cent duty.

Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development CS Betty Maina said the duty  disadvantages Kenya's exports, which compete with Least Developed Countries (LDCS) that enjoy duty-free access.

Apart from coffee and tea, Kenya also exports copper, live trees, plants, cut flowers, aluminium, furniture, wood and articles of wood, precious stones, metals, coins and articles of apparel.

The government is keen to increase export of agricultural products to the South Korean market, mainly fresh produces, by ensuring adherence to international standards.

“Kenya has renewed the cordial bi-lateral relations with South Korea which will now facilitate for negotiation of tariffs reduction especially on our coffee. It is a conversation we have started with the Korean government,” CS Maina told a media briefing in Nairobi, yesterday.

The two countries have also agreed to fast-track pending issues on market access of Kenyan produce including fresh avocados into the South Korean market  with a solution expected before year end.

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