European Union (EU), Kenya Formally Sign Trade Deal After 9-Year Wait

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The European Union and Kenya have concluded today the negotiations on an ambitious trade agreement through which they will implement bilaterally – the regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the Eastern African Community (EAC).

The agreement, which will bring about an important boost for trade in goods, contains substantial development and cooperation elements and is the first and most ambitious trade deal with a developing country to contain strong commitments on sustainability.

The EU is Kenya’s second-largest trading partner, and Kenya’s most important export market. Total trade between the EU and Kenya reached €3.3 billion in 2022, with an increase of 27% compared to 2018.

EU’s imports from Kenya are €1.2 billion and are mainly vegetables, fruits, and flowers. EU exports to Kenya amount to €2.02 billion and are mainly mineral products, chemical products, and machinery. The EU is the first export destination for Kenya, with 16% of its total exports in 2022, followed by Uganda (12%) and USA (8%).

The EPA between the EU and Kenya is a significant milestone as it will be the first trade agreement with an East African Community country to enter into force.

A regional EPA was negotiated in 2014, signed in by Kenya, Rwanda, and the EU in 2016, but could not be applied as it required signature and ratification by all the EAC countries.

This EU-Kenya agreement implements bilaterally the provisions of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the EAC Partner States.  It follows a decision by the East African Community Heads of State Summit on 27 February.

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