Kenya, EU sign trade deal as Brussels bolsters Africa ties

World Monday 19/June/2023 15:53 PM
By: DW
Kenya, EU sign trade deal as Brussels bolsters Africa ties

Brussels: Kenya on Monday signed a trade deal with the European Union that will guarantee duty-free access for its farm produce to its biggest export market.

The pact comes as Brussels seeks stronger economic relations with Africa in attempt to fend off China.

Kenyan President William Ruto presided over a ceremony in Nairobi to formally recognise the Economic Partnership Agreement

'Stimulate investments,' says Ruto
"Beyond trade, the agreement is designed to stimulate investments and manufacturing," Ruto said.

After signing the agreement alongside EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, Kenyan Trade Minister Moses Kuria said: "Today is a very proud moment for Kenya, and I believe a very proud moment for the European Union."

Once ratified and effective, Kenya will receive duty- and quota-free access to the European bloc, a market where it sends approximately one-fifth of all its exports.

Tariff cuts
Imports from the EU to Kenya, such as chemicals and machinery, will receive tariff cuts incrementally over a 25-year period, with just a few exceptions.

Kenya's primary exports to the EU are agricultural products, such as vegetables, fruits, tea and coffee.

Almost a decade ago, an initial trade accord between the East African Community (EAC) bloc, of which Kenya is a part, was agreed upon, but only Nairobi ratified it.