President Kenyatta meets UK Prime Minister Teresa May, seeks trade pact with UK post-BREXIT, Miraa also featured

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President Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Teresa May hold landmark talks at Number 10 Downing Street, London
President Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Teresa May hold landmark talks at Number 10 Downing Street, London

Highlights

  • President Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Theresa May hold landmark talks at Number 10 Downing Street, London
  • Kenya seeks trade pact with UK post-Brexit
  • Kenya wants UK to re-establish visa processing centre in Nairobi to cater for East and Central Africa
  • President Kenyatta says lifting of travel advisories will lead to significant increase in UK tourists to the country

 
President Uhuru Kenyatta today met Prime Minister Teresa May and sought a pact to guarantee Kenyan exports accessed the UK market on a duty-free quota-free basis after the country exits from the European Union.

At a landmark meeting at Number 10 Downing Street, President Kenyatta also spoke strongly about strengthening bilateral relations with Britain, and closer security cooperation, especially in regard to Somalia.

President Kenyatta arrived in Britain last night to attend the Third London Conference on Somalia at the famed Lancaster House later today, and to meet PM May on deepening bilateral relations for one of the country’s long-term allies. The President will also meet Prince William at Buckingham Palace on Friday.

It was the first meeting between the Kenyan leader and the British Prime Minister. The UK is Kenya’s third most important export destination after Uganda and the United States, and the leading source market for Kenya’s lifeblood tourism sector.

There are hundreds of UK companies in Kenya, valued in the trillions.

The President’s agenda is about ensuring a conducive environment so businesses can thrive in order to provide much-needed jobs, and deepen security in Kenya and the region in order to foster growth and inclusive prosperity.
“It is Kenya’s desire to continue having seamless trade relations during and after Brexit. We wish to continue accessing the UK market duty-free and quota-free after the UK exits the EU,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta and Prime Minister May agreed on creating a working group to examine a new framework for bilateral and economic relations between the two countries to ensure predictability and continuation of the existing market conditions after Brexit.

The President and the Prime Minister also discussed Kenya’s counter-terrorism program in the context of deepening the security architecture for Kenya and the region, and the Prime Minister made commitment to support the program.
President Kenyatta also pressed for the re-establishment of a UK visa processing centre in Nairobi, to serve as a regional office for Eastern and Central Africa. Currently UK visas for the region are processed in the South African capital Pretoria.

Miraa also featured in the London talks. President Kenyatta asked PM May to extend technical cooperation and financial assistance to Miraa growing areas to enable diversification and to minimise negative effects of the export ban to the UK imposed three years ago.