Kenya’s import-export mix indicates opportunities and untapped potential

  • 20-Sep-2022
  • Kenya’s import-export mix indicates opportunities and untapped potential

In the year 2007, the government formed a plan to alter Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country delivering a high grade of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment. This was established in the Vision 2030 blueprint. Also, it is founded on three key pillars — the economic pillar, social pillar, and political pillar.

Infrastructure, ICT, science, technology, and innovation, as well as land reforms, were named as the primary enablers of Vision 2030. Six priority areas that make up the economic pillar—tourism, agricultural and livestock, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, financial services, business process outsourcing, and IT-enabled services—were chosen as the pillar's anchors.

The growth and development of the priority sectors were also set to have an effect on Kenya’s import-export ratio. The import-export ratio is the ratio of exported goods and services vis-à-vis the value of imported goods and services of a country.  The difference between the value of exports and imports is directed at the balance of trade.

Globally, countries aim to achieve a trade surplus in which case the value of their exports surpasses the value of their imports. This is more so due to the favorable impact on job opportunities and increased foreign currency reserves. Additionally, in a bid to tap into the essential expertise, the country may tend to procure the services of foreign service providers.

The government should thus utilize the Import Export ratio to evaluate the success of its policies and put in place measures to safeguard successes while working to improve on its weaknesses.

Further, it needs a concerted effort by the government and the private sector to re-align Kenya’s import-export mix which will ultimately maintain the country’s economic growth and expansion.

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