Develop a global partnership for development

Where we are?


The MDG goal 8 on developing a global partnership for development gives international trade indicators that are intended to improve market access of developing countries and least developed countries' exports to the developed economy markets. Trade has increasingly become the cornerstone of the Kenya's economic development in the 21st century. Kenya's trade share of GDP in 2007 stood at about 55.4%. In 2007, merchandize trade contributed about 60.6% of total exports while services constituted about 38.8%. Trade in services also continues to be critical in Kenya's quest for sustainable economic growth and development. In 2007, services accounted for about 60% of Kenya's GDP with leading contributors being Transport and communication, postal and telecommunications, and wholesale and retail trade.

The volume of international trade between Kenya and the rest of the world has been increasing over the years. While exports and imports exhibit an increasing trend, imports have been increasing more rapidly than exports and hence the widening trade balance deficit. The increase in trade and the widening of the trade balance were not rapid until the year 2000 after which trade exhibited a rapid rise coupled with a widening trade balance.

Overall, the value of total exports has increased over the years from about Kshs 214,793 million in 2004 to Kshs 344,947 million in 2008. This implies that Kenya's efforts need to concentrate on deepening and widening access to traditional and emerging markets, respectively. Imports value increased over the same period from Kshs 364,557 million to Kshs 770,651 million. Consequently, the trade balance widened from about Kshs 149,764 million to Kshs 425,704 million over the same period. In 2008, the trade balance deficit deteriorated by 28.8% as a result of widening from Kshs 330,454 million in 2007 to Kshs 425,705 million in 2008.

The export-import cover ratio declined from 45.4% in 2007 to 44.8% in 2008 showing that imports are increasing more rapidly than exports. The value of exports increased in 2008 by 23.3% compared to an increase in imports by 27.4%. Key export sectors that accounted for 51.3% are horticulture, tea, textile and apparels, and soda ash. Overall, Kenya's exports are mainly primary products from the agriculture sector. Manufactured products in Kenya's export basket include iron and steel, pharmaceutical products, cement and essential oils. This underpins Kenya's continued efforts towards value addition and product diversification in the manufacturing sector.


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