Kenya to host the 2ND Commonwealth SME Trade Summit in October 2018

Kenya is set to host the 2ndCommonwealth SME Trade Summit in October 2018. The announcement was made at the 1st India Commonwealth SME Trade Summit held in New Delhi India.

“The 2nd Commonwealth SME Trade Summit will not only provide a forum to actualize existing trade opportunities among Commonwealth member states but also a platform to link Kenyan MSMEs to opportunities in the Regional and Global Value Chains.  The participating MSMEs from the member states will be drawn from the following sectors: Textiles and Apparels, Gems and Jewellery; Leather, Machinery, Agribusiness, Packaging and ICT”, said Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed.

The just concluded 1stSummit was organized by the Indian Commonwealth SME Association (ICSA) which was launched in July 2016 to act as a focal point of a partnership between the Indian Government and the Commonwealth Secretariat to maximize linkages in regional and global value chains.  The Summit is a platform for promotion of trade and investment among SMEs of the Commonwealth using a sectoral approach and targeting sectors where SMEs have operational presence at the national or sub-regional level.

It hosted four platforms to link stakeholders who play an important role in enhancing the ecosystem for boosting international trade and investment. The High-Level Policymakers Platformdiscussed and adopted proposed interventions from MSMEs on how to deepen cooperation among MSMEs in the Commonwealth.

The outcome of the this platform was a declaration on a Cooperation Framework to support Intra-Commonwealth trade and investment by supporting the provision of greater market access, opportunities for mutual learning, sharing innovations, accessing trade finance and forming partnerships; The other platforms included the Sectoral B2B Meetings Platform, the Technology Platform and Innovation Platform.

As the Kenyan Government finalizes the draft National Trade Policy, The Ministry of the Industry, Trade and Cooperatives recognizes the huge unexploited potential in the export market.  One of the key areas of intervention that the policy will address is the enhancement of the competitiveness of Kenyan products through a deliberate shift to from exporting primary goods to value added products.