Trading Partner Portal: Kenya
The Republic of Kenya is located on the eastern coast of Africa, bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast.
The population of Kenya totals 52.57 million people as of 2019 with the official languages of the country being English and Swahili; while many ethnic groups speak their mother tongues within their communities. Kenya is classified as a lower-middle-income economy and is the largest economy in eastern and central Africa with a GDP of $95.5 billion in 2019. Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, serves as the major commercial hub. Kenya recently moved up 5 spots on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, ranking 56th out of 190.
In February 2020, the U.S. announced its intent to negotiate a trade agreement with Kenya. This would be the first agreement with a sub-Saharan African country.
Total U.S.-Kenya two way trade currently reaches over $900 million annually. In 2020, the U.S. exported $370.7 million worth of goods to Kenya. Transportation equipment made up the largest percentage of the total at 16.7% and $62 million. This was followed by chemicals at 14.9% and oil and gas and non-electrical machinery at 14.8% and 9.3%, respectively. Imports from Kenya into the U.S. totaled $568.9 million in 2020. Apparel manufacturing products made up the largest percentage at 67.7% and $385.2 million of the total. The next largest imports were agricultural products, food manufactures, and minerals and ores totaling 16.1%, 4.4%,and 3.1%, respectively. (International Trade Administration)
U.S. foreign direct investment into Kenya totaled $353 million in 2019 (Bureau of Economic Analysis).
California is the second largest exporting state to Kenya after Texas. In 2020, California exported $36.6 million worth of goods to Kenya. Chemicals made up the largest portion at 31.4% of the total and $11.5 million. This was followed by Special classification provisions with 18.7% and transportation equipment at 14.3%. Computer and electronic products also made up 11.5% of total goods exported.
In 2020, California imported $107.8 million worth of goods from Kenya, 63.2% and $68.19 million of which was made up apparel manufacturing products. This was followed by agricultural products at 26.3%, food manufactures at 5.6%, and reimports at 2.7%. In 2020, California was also the largest state importing Kenyan goods. (International Trade Administration)
Business Opportunities in Kenya
Export Opportunities for Kenya’s Goods and Services – October 2020
U.S. Chamber Releases In-Depth Analysis of Potential U.S.-Kenya Free Trade Agreement
U.S. Chamber, April 28, 2021
The United States and Kenya: Strategic Partners
U.S. Department of State, April 27, 2021
The U.S. and Kenya Launch Negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement: Will They Succeed?
US Chamber, July 29, 2020
Joint Statement Between the United States and Kenya on the Launch of Negotiations Towards a Free Trade Agreement
U.S. Trade Representative, July 8, 2020
United States – Kenya Negotiations: Summary of Specific Negotiating Objectives
U.S. Trade Representative, May 2020
U.S. Takes Next Step in Pursuit of Free Trade Agreement with Kenya
CalChamber, March 24, 2020
Trump Administration Notifies Congress of Intent to Negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya
U.S. Trade Representative, March 17, 2020
Letter to Congress
President Trump Announces Intent to Negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya
U.S. Trade Representative, February 6, 2020
U.S. Chamber: ‘Fully Supports Pursuit of a Comprehensive, High-standard Trade Agreement with Kenya’
U.S. Chamber, February 6, 2020