Kenya and Malawi enjoy historical warm and cordial diplomatic relations that have existed since the two countries became independent. Being members of several organizations including the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the two countries have a lot in common. Kenya and Malawi relations have been enhanced by exchange of high level visits between the two countries. In 1999 a Framework Agreement on Economic and Technical Co-operation was signed thereby establishing a Joint Commission. This co-operation between the two countries has been concretized through meetings of the Joint Kenya/Malawi Joint Permanent Commission.
Trade between Kenya and Malawi has continued to register steady growth over the years and is attributed to the launch of the COMESA Free Trade Area in 2001, bilateral arrangements between the two countries and promotional activities by the mission. Kenya’s exports to Malawicomprise of edible oils, margarines, detergents, baking powder, kitchen & table wares, spices, blankets, beauty products, toiletries, irrigation pumps, tyres, and textiles & crafts. Imports from Malawi include, maize seed, electrical conductors, tobacco, and precious stones. Kenyan investors in Malawi include Kenya Airways which operates daily flights to Lilongwe via Lusaka. There are other Kenyan nationals who have invested in various sectors including manufacturing, farming, hospitality, food processing and Information technology.
As part of marketing strategy, Kenya has consistently participated at the annual Malawi international trade fairs where she has been winning the Best International Exhibitor awards for the past five consecutive years. Kenya participates in the two events through the High Commission in liaison with the Export Promotion Council and Kenyan manufacturers, Ministry of Trade and small scale traders. In February 2010 the Kenya High Commission in-conjunction with the Export Promotion Council organized a solo week in Malawi with sought to improve trade ties between the two countries.