With the growing inter-regional trade cooperation within and across continents, innumerable opportunities to deepen economic and commercial ties between and amongst both middle income and advanced economies have been opened up.
The recent US-Kenya trade pact is a good foresight that will inject competitiveness, ease of doing business, market size and access that remain the top most investment determinants and resultant mutually beneficial job creation to both economies.
Against the backdrop of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) that is due to lapse in 2025, the need to prepare for a transition well in advance that would complement the all-important African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to which Kenya is a signatory and that comes to effect from June this year cannot be gainsaid.
The inevitable high market integration at this age of globalisation is bound to present unlimited investment opportunities , technology transfer, Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) flow of labour and capital just to mention a few.
Additionally, the trade sector would certainly register increased number of directly and indirectly employed people through exports and imports.
This will no doubt firm up a more formidable, improved and strategic mutually commercial engagement between the two trade partners.
As it were, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) gives qualifying African countries duty-and quota-free access to the US for a range of products.
Although it comes to an end in 2025, it was first signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000 for a period of eight years and extended for ten years by former President Barack Obama in 2015
The Agoa accord provides 39 sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US for about 6500 products, ranging from textiles to manufactured items.
Kenya will not be an exception since currently, the United States of America has an existing free-trade agreement with Morocco.
It is now incumbent upon the private sector to play a proactive role to supplement efforts by the two presidents, US President His Excellency Donald Trump and His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta in promoting regional investments to spur economic growth, maximize poverty reduction and facilitate trade and investment.
This should be executed through seamless policies by the government and the private sector to create synergy on trade regulatory framework while the private sector would in return support trade facilitation and advocacy.
Consequently, in an ideal situation, the entrepreneurs effectively support the tax base through businesses taxes and wages provided to employees as collectable levies by the government.
The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which form the bulk of startups businesses owned by majority of our unemployed youths and women stand to be the primary beneficiaries.
Effectively, local entrepreneurs will have a special leeway to specialise in producing goods and services which they have a comparative advantage for export to vast US market.
As a region, we need to improve our business environment to attract foreign direct investments and create quality jobs.
We should not allow ourselves to be mainly the consumers of foreign goods and expertise but must build our capacities to produce goods and services for ourselves and for export to improve our global competitiveness.
Reducing global poverty creates a more stable, secure world with opportunities for economic growth at home and abroad.
Accordingly, we must shift our focus to creating a wide entrepreneurial community by strengthening human resource capacity in the region, improve the investor programs, that is, market size, trade facilitation and progressive regulatory framework, sound infrastructure and supply of talented human capital among others.
The bilateral trade deal between US and Kenya will ensure an enduring and mutually beneficial trade relationship.
The author is a Diplomacy and Communication consultant