Kenya signs economic partnership agreement with EU

Monday, December 18th, 2023 17:50 | By
Trade CS Rebecca Miano signs the Agreement in Nairobi on Monday, December 18, 2023.
Trade CS Rebecca Miano signs the Agreement in Nairobi on Monday, December 18, 2023. PHOTO/@rebecca_miano/X

Kenya has signed an economic partnership agreement with the European Union (EU).

The partnership, according to the EU, will boost bilateral trade in goods, increase investment flows, and contribute to sustainable economic growth.

In a statement, the EU said the agreement will provide a platform to support job creation on both sides, along with targeted cooperation to enhance Kenya's economic development.

"Kenya is a key partner for the European Union in Africa. The new Economic Partnership Agreement will boost bilateral trade even further, support investments and create good jobs in Kenya. This agreement will also contribute to sustainable and fair economic growth, bringing new opportunities for companies, to the benefit of both our people. It includes the strongest social and climate commitments of any EU trade deal with an African country,” President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said.

The agreement will be transmitted to the European Parliament for consent before entering into force. 

EU is Kenya's first export destination and second-largest trading partner, with a total of €3.3 billion (Ksh555 billion) in bilateral trade in 2022 - an increase of 27 per cent compared to 2018.

"The agreement will create even more opportunities for Kenyan businesses and exporters, as it will fully open the EU market for Kenyan products upon entry into force. It will also incentivise EU investment in Kenya thanks to increased legal certainty and stability," EU stated.

"Kenya has played a pioneering role in driving sustainability efforts on the African continent and is a reliable ally in the fight against climate change. It co-leads the Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate initiative launched earlier this year, together with the EU and other partners. The EU-Kenya EPA builds on this strong track record and is the first agreement with a developing country in which the EU's new approach to trade and sustainable development is reflected," EU added.

Inside EU deal

EU disclosed that the agreement includes a special safeguard for agriculture, food security and infant industry.

It also entails a dedicated chapter on economic and development cooperation, aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the Kenyan economy.

"Together with EU development assistance, this will help build capacity and assist Kenya in implementing the EPA smoothly, while supporting local farmers in meeting EU standards and in reaping the opportunities this agreement provides," EU added.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano says the agreement will solidify Kenya's commitment to a mutually beneficial economic relationship.

"Kenya and the EU share a long history of trade, investment and economic cooperation, with total trade between us standing at 3.3 Billion Euros. Today marks a significant milestone as Kenya signs the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU, solidifying our commitment to a mutually beneficial economic relationship," Miano said.

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