Kenya, Ivory Coast named rising stars of global trade

Kenya has been ranked position 3 in the top 20 markets with the greatest potential for future trade growth.

According to the Trade20 Index report released by Standard Chartered Bank, the market’s impressive potential for trade growth suggests that the government’s ‘Big Four’ development initiative – focusing on boosting manufacturing activities, achieving universal health coverage, improving food security and supporting the construction of affordable housing – is driving Kenya’s increased trade growth potential.

“Kenya’s trade readiness score is particularly high, due to infrastructure and ease of doing business improvements that far surpass most other African nations in our index. The administration has been successful in attracting external investment for substantial infrastructure development, including renewable energy projects. Improvements in Kenya’s ease of doing business ranking over the last few years have been driven by governmental reforms, including in the areas of starting a business, access to electricity, registering property and protecting minority investors,” said Standard Chartered Kenya CEO, Kariuki Ngari.

Côte d’Ivoire is the market that has most rapidly improved its trade growth potential over the past decade, according to the new research.

The Trade20 Index determines each market’s trade growth potential by analysing changes within the last decade across a wide range of variables, grouped into three equally-weighted pillars: economic dynamism, trade readiness and export diversity.

The study examines 66 markets around the world. It finds that while existing trade powers like China and India continue to rapidly improve their trade potential, African economies are making particularly strong progress from a relatively low starting point.

Kenya is consolidating its position as the trading hub of East Africa, while Côte d’Ivoire is cementing its position as a West African trading hub. Ghana also performs well in the index, placing just outside the top 10.