Event report

Overview of Bilateral Trade between France and Kenya/East Africa in 2022.

Breakfast meeting with the Regional Economic Department of the French Embassy.

This month’s issue of Economic Brief by the Regional Economic Department of the French Embassy focuses on bilateral trade between France and the East African and Indian Ocean Region. The report recognizes that the region contributes to a small part of France’s imports and mainly constitutes agricultural products. Owing to the value-added differential between exports and imports, France has a structural surplus with the EAIO, even if this gap is narrowing. While the exports to the East African and Indian Ocean region have increased slightly after two consecutive years of decline, they still fall below pre-pandemic levels indicating potential for improvement.

On the 18th of September 2023, experts from the Regional Economic Department of the French Embassy partnered with the French Chamber in breaking down this report. The breakfast meeting shed light on the status of bilateral trade between France and the Region in general and thereafter an in-depth look at Kenya. As stated earlier, the EAIO region’s exports to France vis a vis other regions forms a small part. It is noteworthy however, that Mauritius and Madagascar contribute significantly to that number. One of the key takeaways of today’s meeting and reason for disparity was the fact that the two countries unlike their counterparts, export more value-added goods. Value addition to Kenyan exports, that is, tea, coffee, flowers and vegetables will therefore narrow the surplus in bilateral trade between Kenya and France.

The speaker, Jérôme Baconin - Head of the French Regional Economic Department for East Africa, also elaborated on the opportunities that exist for Kenya under the Economic Partnership Agreement between Kenya and the EU:

  • Increased Kenyan exports to the EU market.
  • Making Kenya more attractive to foreign investors offering access to the EU market in the long term.

Considering that the EU is the second largest trade partner to the EAIO region and the existence of an EPA between East Africa and the EU (although some countries are yet to ratify it) there exists plenty of room to increase trade between the two. The report attached hereafter gives data on the imports and exports between France and the region, makes comparisons between 2022 performance and the pre-pandemic levels. It also gives an outlook of 2023 trade prospects that can hopefully inform efforts to better economic performance. 

We extend our appreciation to the Economic Department of the French Embassy as well as all who attended this informative session. Find attached the complete report for your perusal.

Regional Economic Department of the French Embassy: Presentation on Bilateral Trade.

Access the Report.

Regional Economic Department Monthly Report on Bilateral Trade.

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