Kenya, EU conclude negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreement

President William Ruto and DP Rigathi Gachagua overseeing negotiators of the deal conclude the process. [Source; WSR, Twitter]

Kenya and the European Union have concluded their negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreement.

The deal was negotiated by Kenya's Trade CS Moses Kuria and Executive Vice-President and EU Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis.

In a statement at State House on Monday, June 19 morning, President William Ruto said the partnership will be a step forward for the East African Community Partner States.

He says the partnership will build on the provisions of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and EAC countries.

"The EU-Kenya Agreement will therefore retain the potential to evolve as an intrinsic feature, insofar as it shall remain open to accession by EAC Partner States, in line with the decision of the Summit, which recognized the need to permit some Partner States to move forward and commence engagements with the EU to start the EU-EAC-EPA implementation under the principle of variable geometry," Ruto's statement reads in part.

"I am therefore greatly pleased that this has been accomplished, and thank EU's Director Trade for Africa and Kenya's Principal Secretary for Trade together with their technical teams for this achievement,"

According to Kenya's trade CS Moses Kuria, the deal will allow duty-free-quota-free market access for exports and enable the private sector to trade hence creating more jobs for the youth.

"Further, the agreement reflects our commitment to trade sustainably and create opportunities to integrate value-chains between Kenya, East Africa, and the European Union. Through this agreement, small businesses-both European and Kenyan-will find fresh opportunities to be part of global trade. The parties will work towards the completion of their respective internal procedures for the entry into force of the EPA as soon as possible," Kuria says.

According to a joint communication by the two parties, the agreement will implement bilaterally the provisions of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the EAC, whose negotiations were finalised in 2014.

The EU-Kenya Agreement will also remain open to be accessed by other EAC Partner States.

The Agreement will facilitate trade and investment, accompanied by trade-related development cooperation.

It also plans further to deepen the economic ties between the EU and Kenya and boost sustainable economic growth and job creation.

It will provide new opportunities for Kenyan and European businesses, including Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

The Agreement will also advance shared values and common interests, on sustainability.

Both sides have committed themselves to combining sustainable growth and the creation of decent jobs with environmental conservation and climate resilience.

They confirmed that democratic governance, peace, security, and human development - with a focus on women and youth - are important aspects of this partnership and sustainable development

"With this agreement, we are establishing a deepened relationship between us and creating new opportunities for our businesses that will increase trade and investment. This will create decent jobs and economic growth," EU Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis says