Japan – Kenya bilateral relationship; examining the trade and development assistance for the period 1998-2014
The study focuses on the Analysis of the Japan-Kenya bilateral relationship by looking at the imports, exports, balance of trade as well as the Official Development Assistance between the two countries. In this study, review of documents was done to collect data of the trade history. Results show that the trade between the two countries is not balanced. On average, there was a growth rate of Kenya’s exports to Japan at an annual rate of 2.47% between the period. The main exports being cut flowers, tea, coffee, edible nuts, fish fillets, tobacco and sisal. The imports on the other hand had an average of annual rise of 27%. The main imports being mainly capital goods such as: motor vehicles and parts, heavy machinery & construction equipment, Kenya is a marginal supplier to Japan with a market share of only 0.01%. However, Japan’s share in Kenya’s imports is high and stood at above 5% of Kenya’s total imports throughout this period of study. The east African region stood out as Kenya’s main destination in terms of exports. In comparison to other countries, Japan’s ODA is still trailing behind those of US, UK Germany, Sweden and Denmark. A similar trend has been found in the case of the international organizations, where World Bank, IMF and EU institutions stands out with higher ODA support to Kenya as compared to japan. The study recommends the need for export diversification to Japan and the need for signing a trade agreement as a way of reducing the trade imbalance gap.