An assessment of the impact of the preferential trade area (PTA) for eastern and southern African states on Kenya’s export trade
The PTA is an economic cooperation arrangement for all the countries of the Eastern and Southern African sub-region excluding South Africa and Namibia. The organization is meant to promote trade and cooperation in all fields of economic activity so as to raise the standards of living of the people in the region, foster closer relations among the member countries and to contribute to the development of the African continent. It is argued that Kenya's export sector has the potential of a leading role in Kenya's development strategy. The PTA provides Kenya with an opportunity for increasing intra-regional trade. It was the aim of the study therefore to establish whether Kenya's mem~ership to the PTA has been trade creating. It was found from the study that the impact of the PTA on food items and live animals, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, petroleum products and related minerals, and animal and vegetable oils and fat, categories was significant.- On the other hand, the PTA has not had any impact on the earnings obtained from Kenyan exports of inedible raw materials, manufactured items, chemicals. machinery and transport equipment, and It was also found from the study that the PTA provides Kenya with increasing her export earnings from food an opportunity for items and live animals, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and products of the industrial sector. The PTA is not expected to provide Kenya with an opportunity for expanding her trade in petroleum products and related materials.