The Kenya Economic Update reports on Kenya Exports from 2012 figures. The report shows that the Top 5 Products exported by Kenya includes:
- Tea at 21 percent;
- Cut Flowers at 13 percent;
- Coffee at 6.1 percent;
- Legumes at 3.9 percent; and,
- Passenger and Cargo Ships at 1.8 percent.
These exports go to the Top 5 Export destinations of Kenya that includes 12 percent to Uganda, 12 percent to Tanzania, 10 percent to Netherlands, 9.8 percent to United Kingdom, and 8.2 percent to the United States. Kenya is ranked 83 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of -0.251144. Kenya is the top exporter of Legumes and Agave.
In 2012, Kenya exports of $5.942 billion included tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, fish which were sent to the major markets including Uganda 9.9 percent, Tanzania 9.6 percent, Netherlands 8.4 percent, UK, 8.1 percent, US 6.2 percent, Egypt 4.9 percent, Democratic Republic of the Congo 4.2 percent.
Kenya is the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa. It is also the natural entry point to the region. The country has a market-based economy with a liberalized foreign trade policy. Kenya is the most industrialized country in East and Central Africa with its main export partners that include the rest of the African region, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States.
Kenya is active within regional trade blocs such as the COMESA or the Common Market for Eastern and EAC or the Southern Africa and the East African Community, a partnership of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. The aim of the EAC is to create a common market of the three states modelled on the European Union. Among the early steps toward integration is the customs union which has eliminated duties on goods and non-tariff trade barriers among the members.
The Kenya Economic Update underlines the need for Kenya to expand its exports and diversify its markets to mitigate the impact of the recession in the Euro zone, which is Kenya’s largest trading partner and also its key source for the tourism industry. This will be critical for Kenya to reverse its current account deficit, which remains above 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) despite lower oil prices. Economic growth is estimated at 4.9 percent in 2013 and is projected to accelerate to 5.7 percent in 2014. Real GDP growth is estimated at 4.9 percent and 5.7 percent in 2013 and 2014 respectively. With Kenya’s drastic currency depreciation and rapid inflation in 2011, the economy experienced stability for both indicators in 2012 and 2013 with inflation dropping to a single digit. This stability is expected to continue in 2014. The Kenya Economic Update is produced by the Bank in collaboration with Economic Round Table members, including the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and National Development, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the Kenya Revenue Authority and the National Economic and Social Council and the International Monetary Fund.
Kenya is the natural entry point to the Africa region, a resource-rich continent. The economy of Africa consists of the trade, industry, agriculture, and human resources of the continent. As of 2012, approximately 1.07 billion people were living in 54 different countries in Africa. One of Africa’s exporting countries is Kenya.