Kenya and Ireland have, over the past 100 years, enjoyed and fostered strong relationships in different areas. These range from education, agriculture, development and humanitarian assistance from Irish Missionaries and NGOs, and increasingly, business and investment. The growth in trade volumes between the two countries continues to increase and in 2017, Ireland’s total merchandise trade with Kenya increased by 27 per cent from the previous year.
Kenya’s exports to Ireland in 2017 were valued at €11.9 Million (Sh. 1.35 billion) while imports were valued at €28.7 Million (Sh. 3.25 billion). Trade between Kenya and Ireland has grown by 82 per cent from €39.8 Million (Sh4.5 billion) in 2007 to €72.5 Million (Sh8.2 billion) in 2016.
Since the re – opening of the Embassy in 2014, the focus has been on promoting institutional partnerships between both countries, identifying clear added value for Irish companies that seek to invest in the country as well as mutual benefits for Kenya. Principal exports from Ireland to Kenya include manufacturing metals, office machines, cereals and beverages, while Principal imports from Kenya to Ireland include coffee, tea, fruit and vegetables. In terms of trade in services, total trade between Ireland and Kenya grew by 149% from € 50 Million in 2012 to € 103 Million in 2017. Services exported to Ireland by Kenya in 2017 were valued at € 15Million while imports to Kenya from Ireland were valued at €88 Million. (More on these statistics can be found in the BIK Doing Business Guide.)
The Embassy also plays a key role in creating an enabling business environment, through its support to key trade and investment facilitation institutions in Kenya. It is with this in mind that the two governments committed to strengthen Economic cooperation between Ireland and Kenya and a Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed in October 2018. The letter commits both countries to assessing the business scope for increased cooperation, in economic, commercial and technical fields. Areas of cooperation will include, agriculture, health and medical technology, ICT, Construction, Financial technology, tourism, clean and renewable energy technologies, education and aviation. The LOI has initiated the development of a full trade agreement between Kenya and Ireland.