TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), and the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) have at the Kenyan High Commission in London, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which provides a framework for collaborating to implement a digital trade corridor between the UK and Kenya.
The initiative, the ‘UK-Kenya Trade Logistics Information Pipeline’ (TLIP), aims to eliminate paperwork and introduce much better visibility up and down supply chains that flow between Kenya and the UK.
It will cut costs for Kenyan firms producing goods like green vegetables and cut flowers for export to the UK, reducing prices for UK consumers, importers, and retailers. UK exporterS will also be able to benefit from better access to one of Africa’s fastest-growing markets.
TLIP is the first digital trade corridor to be established between the UK and a developing country since the UK’s exit from the European Union. Indeed, TLIP is strongly aligned with the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed this year between the UK and Kenya.
“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,” IOE&IT Director General Marco Forgione said:
CEO of TMEA Frank Matsaert said: “TMEA is excited to be expanding our homegrown 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 AfCFTA growing trade within the continent and support global trade.”
At its core, TLIP has three Engines: a ‘Digital Engine’, based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), that will support trade transactions, manage cross border data flows, and ensure traceability and the tracking of goods, an ‘Information Engine’ that will provide a consolidated one-stop-shop for market and regulatory information needed by suppliers and buyers, and other intermediaries and a ‘Policy of Governance Engine’ that will support the development of supplementary frameworks such as innovating trade instruments, procedures and processes as well as developing digital standards within the supply chains.
Trade between the UK and Kenya has been growing, in both directions, for over two decades and all parties involved believe that TLIP has the potential to further accelerate this growth by reducing administrative procedures and time to import and export by at least 30%, reducing in order turnaround times of up to 40% and minimising compliance costs of 20%.