courtesy: The Standard Newspaper Kenya
Kenya is banking on her long-standing relations with China to have a four per cent levy on flower exports to the Asian country scrapped. The latest push comes in the wake of the country experiencing logistical headwinds in its quest to penetrate other key markets such as Australia.
Currently, Kenya’s biggest export market of cut flowers is Europe where they are sold duty-free, although that could change in the absence of a new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – a concessional trade deal between East African Community (EAC) countries and Europe.
The deal primarily provides access to EAC exports to European markets duty-free and quota-free, while the European Union gets a gradual liberalisation of tariffs in EAC markets. Kenya Airways Commercial Manager in Charge of Cargo Peter Musola said yesterday bilateral talks between Kenya and China were at an advanced stage as the latter eyes the hugely untapped market.
“Flowers actually earn us up to Sh70 billion every year, so we do hope the tax imposed in June by China is re-considered,” Mr Musola told participants at the opening of the Flowers and Perishables Logistics Africa Conference in Nairobi.
Kenya Airways operates direct flights to three cities in China - Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. Mr Musola said the airline was working with several stakeholders to reduce its aircraft’s ground time as it is the biggest bottleneck at the moment considering the perishable nature of flowers.