Kenya mulls export credit guarantee schemes to reduce trade deficit

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Kenya plans to establish an export credit guarantee scheme in order to reduce the country's trade deficit, a government official said on Thursday.

Julius Muia, the Principal Secretary in the National Treasury, told a trade forum in Nairobi that since Kenya liberalized its international trade regime, imports have been growing at a faster pace compared to exports leading to huge trade imbalance.

"We are planning to introduce an export credit guarantee scheme so as to help local producers to sell their goods and services in overseas markets," Muia said during the Kenya-Tanzania Trade Investment Forum.

Data from the ministry of trade indicates that Kenya exported goods worth approximately 6 billion U.S. dollars against imports of 17 billion dollars in 2017.

Muia said the export credit guarantee scheme is likely to be introduced in the next financial year which begins in July.

Muia said the scheme will help to underwrite loans extended to those in the export sector so that commercial banks are more comfortable to extending financial supporter to exporters.

He said the scheme will enhance access to finance for Kenya's export oriented producers who are in the manufacturing, agricultural and services sector.

He added that a key constraint facing exporters is the lack of affordable credit to expand their businesses to cover overseas markets.

Muia said other beneficiaries of the scheme will be importers of raw materials who intend to engage in value addition and then export finished products.

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