His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade. Image courtesy: Ministry of Economy
His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade. Image courtesy: Ministry of Economy

The Ministry of Economy has unveiled that Kenya has recently gained access to the UAE’s Trade for Development platform. This initiative was introduced by His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in Abu Dhabi in February.

Designed by the UAE, the Trade for Development platform is a technical support program offering an array of online resources. It aims to help trade representatives, negotiators, and policymakers from developing and least developed countries to acquire the necessary technical skills and knowledge for negotiating intricate trade agreements. The primary challenge for many nations in engaging effectively in the global market and capitalizing on the benefits of the multilateral trading system is the shortage of resources and technical know-how.

The platform provides a digital library filled with materials from leading experts in global trade and policy, alongside a selection of online courses and self-study tools. These resources cover crucial aspects of trade agreements, such as customs, trade facilitation, rules of origin, service trade, intellectual property rights, and dispute resolution. As a continuously accessible resource, the Trade for Development platform equips officials from developing nations with the insights and tools necessary for shaping trade policies and conducting negotiations.

Kenya’s enrolment in the platform reflects the growing trade and investment ties between the two countries. In 2023, the nations shared US$3.1 billion in bilateral non-oil trade, an increase of 26.4% on the previous year. Kenya is one of the most promising economies in Africa, experiencing a real GDP growth of 5% in 2023 and a projected 4.5% to 5.2% increase in 2024.

His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said, “The Trade for Development platform underlines the UAE’s commitment to enhancing inclusive, sustainable trade and leveraging its power to drive economic growth and prosperity throughout the world. As we have rapidly expanded our trade relations in recent years, we have developed extensive experience and expertise in the complex world of trade negotiations. We welcome Kenya’s enrolment, which provides an opportunity for their policymakers and trade officials to benefit from best-in-class expertise, empowering them to better integrate with the global economy, accelerate their development and raise living standards for their citizens.”

Kenya is the ninth country to be given access to the platform, with eight other countries being invited to make use of its comprehensive resources when the platform was launched during the WTO’s biannual gathering of its members. Those eight countries were Ethiopia, Mozambique, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Comoros, Kyrgyzstan and Barbados.