The Institute of Export & International Trade signed an agreement on the 26th July in London with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to implement a ‘digital trade corridor’ between the UK and Kenya.
The initiative, called the ‘UK-Kenya Trade Logistics Information Pipeline’ (TLIP), aims to eliminate paperwork and introduce better visibility in the supply chains flowing between the UK and Kenya.
TLIP’s system uses blockchain technology to link all those in a supply chain to enable fast logistic clearance and easier trading.
TMEA is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2010 to promote prosperity in Eastern and Southern Africa through increased trade.
Trade agreement backdrop
The creation of TLIP follows the trade agreement (Economic Partnership Agreement) signed in December 2020 between the UK and Kenya, setting out the two countries’ future trading relationship.
That agreement came after the inauguration in January 2020 of the ground-breaking AfCFTA free trade alliance between 54 of the African Union’s 55 countries, aimed at stimulating intra-Africa trade.
Cost and time reductions
Trade between the UK and Kenya has been growing, in both directions, for more than two decades. TMEA and IOE&IT believe that TLIP has the potential to further accelerate this growth through:
- administrative procedures and time to import and export by at least 30%
- order turnaround times by up to 40%
- compliance costs by 20%
- duplication of steps in the trading process by as much as 50%
TLIP promises to cut costs for Kenyan firms producing goods like green vegetables and cut flowers for export to the UK, reducing prices for UK consumers, importers and retailers.
UK exporters will also be able to benefit from better access to one of Africa’s fastest growing markets.