Determinants of low penetration of Kenyan goods into the American market under AGOA: a case of selected companies under EPZA.
Mwaniki, Ruth Wangari
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The study sought to establish the possible determinants leading to low penetration of Kenyan goods into the American market. The study investigated the extent to which the Kenyan exports meet the US market requirements; the level of awareness about the US market requirements by Kenyan exporters; the consistency of supply by the Kenyan exporters to the US market and the level of government support extended to Kenyan exporters. A descriptive research design was adopted with a focus on the firms under Kenya's Export Processing Zones Authority. The study targeted all the companies under EPZA and sampled 33% of the 57 companies within Nairobi and Athi River to obtain 19 companies. The respondents were picked purposefully as the Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Sales and Marketing, making a total of 57 respondents. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data which was then analysed using descriptive statistics with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). Qualitative data was collected through interviews that were also held to collect data. The recorded information was analyzed through content analysis and results given. Results of the quantitative data were presented using pie charts, bar graphs, percentages and frequency tables. The study established that a majority of exporters were not well informed on the US market requirements, most products do not meet US market requirements, there is no consistency in the supply and that the government has tried its best to offer necessary support to the Kenyan exporters though most of the exporters were not aware of the incentives provided. The study recommends that exporters should be made aware of the expectations of the US Customs and Border protection; they should produce goods that are tailor made for the US market and adopt ways of improving their production capacities to meet the expectation of US market. Finally, the study recommended a further research on the feasibility of export trade with the US under no special offers like the ones under AGOA initiative.