Kenya and the European Union have concluded negotiations an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to boost trade in goods with targeted cooperation in enhancing Kenya’s economic development.
It was described by the EU Commission as the ‘most ambitious EU trade deal with a developing country’ when it comes to sustainability provisions concerning climate, environmental protection, and labour rights. It will also fully open the EU market for Kenyan products and incentivise EU investment to Kenya thanks to increased legal certainty and stability.
Negotiations were concluded during an official ceremony on 19th June (today) in Nairobi by EU Commission for Trade Vladis Dombrovskis, Cabinet Secretary for Kenya’s Ministry of Investments Trade and Industry, Moses Kuria, in the presence of Kenyan President William Samoei Ruto.
With €3.3 billion of trade between Kenya and the bloc, the EU is the country’s second-largest trading partner. EU imports from Kenya amount to €1.2 billion and are mainly vegetables, fruits, and flowers. EU’s exports to Kenya amount to €2.02 billion and are mainly in mineral and chemical products and in machinery.
“This agreement takes into account our different stages of development. Kenya’s exports to the EU will be tariff-free from day one, while tariffs on EU exports will be liberalised over time and not on all products,” said Mr Dombrovskis.
Kenya is the 8th most populous country in the African continent with a population of 55 million, and is the fourth largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
To finalise the EPA, the text needs to be adopted by the EU Council, so the EU and Kenya can sign the agreement, and once signed the European Parliament is to vote on it. The agreement will enter into force once both Kenya and EU member states ratify it into law.
Featured Image: signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement via Vladis Dombrovskis (Twitter)
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