April 25, 2020: As this year marks the 56th anniversary of the Netherlands bilateral relations with Kenya, the partnership between the countries remains strong as ever even in these turbulent times. In the midst of the pandemic, the Netherlands and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are ensuring that trade links between Kenya and the Netherlands remain strong.

As per a statement dated April 20, 2020, released by the Dutch embassy in Nairobi, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo will operate two weekly cargo flights bringing 45-50 tonnes of cargo from Nairobi to Amsterdam starting this week. KLM's B777-300 passenger aircraft will be used with ample belly capacity. This comes in addition to the existing full freighter flights Air France KLM Martinair is regularly operating.

The exports will be dominated by cut flowers and other perishable products, inclusive of vegetables and fruits from Kenya to the Netherlands. The deal signifies a clear boost for the country's agricultural and horticulture sector and the Kenyan economy at large as it will enable more exports.

The Netherlands has long been at the forefront of investing in Kenya and promoting increased exports from Nairobi to Amsterdam and beyond. The European nation has for the last five years in a row been ranked as the largest European market for Kenyan exports. It is also the largest export market for Kenyan products in Europe and the leading destination for Kenya's cut flowers, vegetables and fruits. Trade statistics for the period between 2014 and 2018 indicate that Kenya's exports to the Netherlands amounted to Kshs 216.4 billion against imports from the Netherlands totaling Kshs 94.7 billion. This shows that Kenya enjoys a favourable trade balance of Kshs 121.7 billion which makes the Netherlands one of the few European countries with a trade balance heavily skewed in Kenya's favour.

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