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Trade Department

Kenya stands to benefit from the successful conclusion of the trade talks currently taking place under the WTO in terms of:

• enhanced market access for Kenyan export products,

•  improved terms of trade with our major trading partners,

•  removal of trade and non- trade barriers encountered in our export markets and

• Elimination/reduction of trade distortions (export and domestic subsidies) that cause unfair trade practices and competition on the international markets for the Kenyan farmers and the business community at large.

The Commercial Section has been at the forefront of advocating the need for the WTO to address the declining prices of commodities within the multilateral setting given the link between the commodity crisis and the poverty level in Kenya and the entire African Continent.

The Section has continuously portrayed a leadership role in the current on-going negotiations on the Doha Round and within the various coalition Groups formed among WTO members. The section also takes an active role in the WTO African Group and in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group meetings. Indeed Kenya is the focal point on Agriculture, Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) and Services in these groupings.
 The Commercial Section solicits and lobbies for Training and Technical Assistance Programmes as well as Internships for Government officials at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Advisory Centre on Trade Law (ACWL) and the WTO. These training opportunities have strengthened the human as well as the institutional capacity at the national level for effective support on the on-going negotiations.

The Section co-ordinates with the Secretariats of the above Institutions and ensures that national workshops are organised every year on specific WTO Agreements. The national workshops organised so far have been instrumental in sensitising the relevant Kenyan stakeholders on the objectives and benefits of the WTO agreements. In addition, the Section has ensured that Kenya continues to benefit from training opportunities through internship programmes as well as trade policy courses offered annually at the WTO.


a) International Trade Centre (ITC)

The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the technical cooperation arm of the WTO. The ITC works closely with business community as well as business support organisations at the national level with a view to providing enterprise oriented assistance.  The ITC’s technical assistance programmes focuses in six core areas: Product and market development; Development of trade support services; Trade information; Human resource development; International purchasing and supply management; and needs assessment and programme design for trade promotion. The Commercial Section coordinates with relevant Government Departments in identifying the specific areas of assistance and liaises with the ITC for support programmes.

b) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a specialized agency of the United Nations dealing with development aspects of the developing countries.  It is the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated treatment of trade and development and  interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.

UNCTAD is an organ of the UN General Assembly with a membership of 192 countries and a permanent secretariat in Geneva. Kenya is a member of UNCTAD having joined in February 1964 and also a member of its Trade and Development Board.

The Commercial Section  coordinates the representation and participation by Kenya in UNCTAD’s intergovernmental discussions and deliberations on current issues on economic  development supported by discussions with experts aimed at consensus–building. In addition, the section follows-up on  research; policy analysis; and data collection undertaken by UNCTAD and shares this information with the relevant stakeholders at the national level. UNCTAD also provides technical assistance and capacity on trade and development issues for the benefit of developing countries.

c) Other activities

The Commercial Section also liaises with other organizations based in Geneva and dealing with trade and development issues with a view to benefiting from their research and analysis particularly on those areas being negotiated at the WTO.

The Section also coordinates with the relevant Government departments and private sector players regarding business enquiries on trade, investment and tourism opportunities.



- Ministry of Planning and National Development

- Learn more about Kenya Economy also here on our WebSite 

  Economic Survey 2007 (PDF; 281KB)


  WTO Negotiation update (PDF; 65KB)


  UNCTAD Negotiation update (PDF; 26KB)


- Ministry of Trade and Industry

- Kenya Investment Authority (KIA)

- Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS)

- Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI)

- Export Promotion Council (EPC)

- Export Promoting Zones Authority – Kenya (EPZA)

- Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI)

- Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC)

- East African Portland Cement Co. Ltd. (EAPCC)

- World Trade Organization

- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

- International Trade Centre

- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

- African Union

- African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

- The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

- Third World Network

- South Centre

- Quaker United Nations Office

- Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy