Business Daily (Kenya)
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The recent industry data from Kenya Tea Development Agency indicates that the country exported to Egypt tea worth Sh7.4 billion. PHOTO | FILE

Kenya now accounts for the second largest share of exports in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) behind Egypt, highlighting the importance of the trading bloc to the local economy.

A report from Comesa indicates that Kenya accounted for 17.3 per cent of the $7.5 billion that was transacted within the 19 member states last year. Kenya’s exports to the region stood at Sh131 billion ($1.3 billion).

The goods from Kenya mainly comprised agricultural produce, especially tea and tobacco, animal products and consumer goods to countries such as Uganda, DR Congo, Rwanda and South Sudan.

The value of imports from Comesa member states to Kenya was $612 million (Sh61.2 billion) in the year under review, tilting business in favour of Nairobi.

African trade remains centred on the three countries that have an appreciable manufacturing base South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

Most of the countries in the trading bloc are landlocked, forcing them to rely on countries with ports such as Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique for goods.

The recent industry data from Kenya Tea Development Agency indicates that the country exported to Egypt tea worth Sh7.4 billion.

« Egypt and Kenya registered the biggest share of intra Comesa export market in 2015 with 22 per cent and 17 per cent share respectively, » says the report.

According to Comesa, black tea, which Kenya is the leading exporter in the world was the second commodity with the highest value at the export market after copper.

« Copper ores and concentrates were the most exported products in value terms in the region from 2011 to 2015 followed by black tea, » said Comesa.

This was reported during the 36th Intergovernmental Committee of Comesa that is taking place in Antananarivo Madagascar. The committee comprises principal secretaries from the 19 member states.

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