UK takes first steps towards digital trade corridor with Kenya

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

A new digital trade corridor between the UK and Kenya could cut admin time and provide new opportunities for exporters
A new digital trade corridor between the UK and Kenya could cut admin time and provide new opportunities for exporters

Related tags Supply chain

The UK has taken its first steps towards a digital trade corridor with Kenya, the first of its kind to be established since Brexit.

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) signed a memorandum of understanding, which provided a framework for collaborating to implement the digital trade corridor.

The ‘UK-Kenya Trade Logistics Information Pipeline' (TLIP) aimed to eliminate paperwork and introduce better visibility across supply chains between Kenya and the UK.

Along with cutting costs for green vegetables exported to the UK, the deal would benefit UK exporters by giving better access to one of Africa’s ‘fastest growing markets’.

First of its kind

The TLIP is the first digital trade corridor to be established between the UK and a developing country since the UK's exit from the EU and was said to be strongly aligned with the Economic Partnership Agreement signed at the end of last year between the UK and Kenya.

Commenting on the initiative, IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione said: “We're proud to be partnering in the TLIP project. We believe it can deliver substantial benefits, not only to traders in the relevant supply chains, but also to the UK in terms securing its position as a global leader in digital trade.

“Provisions to improve digital delivery are an increasingly important part of trade agreements - and it is initiatives like this that will make them succeed​.”

Reducing administrative procedures

The IOE&IT claimed this new agreement had the potential to reduce administrative procedures and time to export and export by at least 30%, as well as reduce compliance costs by 20%.

It also foresaw a reduction in order turnaround times by 40% and reduced duplication, leading to a reduction of steps in the trading process of as much as 50%.

Frank Matsaert, chief executive of the TMEA added: “TMEA is excited to be expanding our home-grown digital solution and expanding TLIP to the UK which will​ create a transparent, efficient and cost-effective way of managing trade information to support and boost trade efficiency between the two countries.

“TLIP is also expected to support trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area growing trade within the continent and support global trade.​”

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