Kenyan exporters will have to diversify export products and increase value addition in order to ease the trade imbalance between Kenya and Germany, according to the Deputy Head of Mission in Berlin Amb. Esther Mungai.
Speaking at the Kenyan Embassy in Berlin ahead of the official opening of this year’s edition of Fruit Logistica Trade Fair, she lauded government to government collaborations as well as private partnerships between Germany and Kenya that have increased market access for Kenyan goods and services to the EU market.
Kenya has a trade deficit of Kshs. 87.8 billion to the European Union market as of 2018, with Kenya’s exports to EU standing at Kshs. 131.1 billion while her imports were at Kshs. 218.9 billion, hence creating the deficit.
Germany is one of the key markets where Kenya’s export products are preferred, which are largely vegetables, tea, coffee, fruits and nuts, tobacco and canned fruit juices.
On the other hand, over 50 Germany firms are in Kenya.
Fruit Logistica, an international trade fair for fruits and vegetable global marketing has more than 3100 companies from the entire value chain of the green range exhibiting. This will include both global players as well as small and medium-sized suppliers from all over the world.
Kenya will be represented by 40 companies who will be seeking more market opportunities, make global business networks as well as exchange latest trends in the industry and value addition opportunities to expand the exports pie in the EU markets.
During the 3-days’ trade fair, Kenyan Exhibitors also stand to benefit from special match-making sessions through the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft), a foreign trade association representing German companies and institutions with an interest in Africa. The Association advocates for a new conception of Africa in Germany as a continent of opportunity.
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The Kenya Exports Promotion and Branding Agency (BrandKE), an Agency charged with all exports promotion and country branding initiatives, has also organized a trade mission on the side-lines of the trade fair to deepen trade relations and establish more market linkages for Kenyan exporters. The team will be meeting with leadership teams from the German-African Business Association, German Tea Association, German Tea Council, as well as Kenyans living in Germany.
EAC’s and Kenya’s trade with the European Union has been enabled by the EAC-EU Economic Partnerships Agreements (EAC-EU EPAs) on trade and development agreements signed to enhance regional economic integration. The agreements cover goods and fisheries alongside development cooperation.
The 28 EU member states include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.