, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner has confirmed ongoing plans to boost the United Kingdom’s balance of trade with Kenya through enhanced retail sector partnerships.
The plans, Turner disclosed, will involve the provision of commercial liaison support to local retailers wishing to forge trade links with their British counterparts and is part of a strategy to double the UK’s balance of trade with Kenya by the year 2017.
Speaking during the formal opening of the first Clarks Footwear concept store in Sub Sahara Africa at the Thika Road Mall in Nairobi, Turner said that plans are underway to raise the value of trade between Kenya and the UK to Sh260 billion within the next five years.
With current total trade valued at more than Sh130 billion, Turner stressed that existing trade ties are still a major part of the bilateral relations between the UK and Kenya.
“The opening of the first Clarks store in sub-Sahara Africa by Nakumatt Holdings is a clear testimony of the British Government’s commitment to foster win-win trade partnerships between Kenya and the UK,” he said.
“As part of our local work plans, we shall be encouraging further partnerships between retailers such as Nakumatt and several leading British manufacturing companies wishing to expand their market reach,” he added.
With an existing equitable balance of trade, Turner further said that the UK still provides Kenya with its second biggest export market after Uganda.
During the occasion, Nakumatt Holdings Regional Director Thiagarajan Ramamurthy reiterated that the retailer’s association with Clarks, the iconic British footwear brand is part of Nakumatt’s Sh1.2 billion departmental stores development strategy.
He confirmed that plans are also underway to open three Skechers Footwear stores in coming days to complete the first phase of the footwear departmental stores rollout.
“To confirm the importance attached to this project, the opening of both the Clarks and Skechers stores is backed by a more than Sh480 million investment budget,” Ramamurthy said.
Established in 1825 by Brothers James and Cyrus Clark, the Clarks footwear brand has evolved into a leading global footwear retailer with sales in excess of Sh122.4 billion.