Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday held a telephone conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the start of negotiations for a Kenya-UK post Brexit trade agreement.
The negotiations between the two countries are expected to be finalized before the UK’s departure from the European Union on 31 December, 2020.
A statement from the spokesperson of the Kenyan presidency said the trade talks will be conducted within the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership Framework established by the two leaders in January 2020 and the East African Community (EAC) parameters in order to enhance regional integration.
The two leaders also discussed other issues of common interests, including the two nation’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
President Kenyatta took the opportunity to thank the UK for extending visa over-stay amnesty for Kenyan nationals in the country who cannot travel back due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Both Kenya and the UK have been affected by the pandemic that has now infected more than 11.1 million people globally and killed over 526,000, according to data from the US-based Johns Hopkins University.
Kenya’s tourism ministry earlier this week reported losses of over $800 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In their telephone conversation, President Kenyatta thanked PM Boris for his government’s support for Kenya’s Worker Protection Scheme which he said will benefit garment and horticultural sectors so as to avoid massive staff layoffs during the global economic disruption.