NAIROBI – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has replaced India as Kenya’s second-largest source of imports. Initially, the UAE was the top source of imports for Kenya, but it lost the position to India. However, India later relinquished it to China, which remains at the apex.
However, trade between India and Kenya has dropped, especially in the third quarter of this year, with the UAE gaining as its rival loses. Official economic data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday that imports to Kenya from the UAE rose considerably to $473 million in the third quarter, from $284 million in the second quarter.
On the other hand, imports from India in the third quarter fell to $332 million, from $467 million in the previous quarter. Trade between the two nations mainly involves tea export from Kenya and UAE petroleum products, electronics and clothes sold to Kenya.
The rising trade, which is expected to hit over $1 billion at the close of the year, is attributed to improving relations between the two nations, which culminated in the signing in September of a bilateral agreement to boost trade and cooperation.
An estimated 40,000 Kenyans live and work in the UAE, especially in the hospitality, aviation, medical, construction, engineering and security sectors. On the other hand, Dubai-based real estate firms have been hunting for buyers in Kenya for their luxurious property consisting of mainly residences.
Dubai is also an attractive destination for many Kenyan investors.