US polls fever cuts apparels export 2pc

An EPZ factory off Thika Road. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Uncertainty around the US general election likely cut Kenya apparel exports by 2.3 per cent to stand at Sh34.4 billion in 2016 from Sh35.2 billion in 2015.

The annual performance report for the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) shows the apparels exported declined from 84.6 million pieces in 2015 to 74.0 million pieces in 2016.

“This could be attributed to market uncertainty in US towards the general election in the course of year 2016,” the authority says.

In the year under review EPZ Authority (EPZA) says it oversaw market diversification on apparel exports to include Europe and Canada.

“These alternative markets were a destination for Sh2.4 billion worth of apparel compared to Sh2.2 billion consigned to these markets during the year 2015. It is evident that the alternative market is evolving in significance.” Direct employment, it says, expanded by 2.2 per cent to 42,496.

EPZA says investment rose 3.1 per cent to stand at Sh16. 1 billion from Sh15.7 billion in 2015 with enterprises upgrading.

Some 58 per cent were supplied to the US market, out of which 94.2 per cent (Sh34.4 billion) constituted exports of garment products.