The EU and Kenya have today signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
This agreement aims to boost trade in goods, facilitate investment, and support sustainable economic growth between the EU and Kenya.
The EPA also provides a foundation for mutual job creation and targeted cooperation, which promotes Kenya’s economic development.
Notably, it represents the EU’s most ambitious trade deal with a developing country.
This is in terms of sustainability provisions covering climate, environmental protection, labor rights, and gender equality.
The formal signing occurred in Nairobi, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Kenyan President Dr. William Samoei Ruto.
With the EU being Kenya’s primary export destination and second-largest trading partner, bilateral trade surged to €3.3 billion in 2022, a 27% increase from 2018.
Once implemented, EPA will open the EU market fully to Kenyan products, and present lucrative opportunities for businesses and exporters.
Additionally, it will attract increased EU investment in Kenya and provide heightened legal certainty and stability.
Kenya’s President Advocates for Trade in Services
While giving his remarks during the ceremony, Kenya’s president William Ruto noted,
“There is no doubt that trade in goods is very important for investors in our markets.
“However, trade in services is crucial. I applaud the negotiating teams, led by Ms. Dora Correia for the EU and Alfred K’Ombudo for Kenya.
“I encourage them to stay committed to negotiating a future agreement. This should open up trade in services between Europe and Kenya.
“Such an agreement can benefit various professionals like engineers, doctors, nurses, environmental technicians, and those in accounting and the performing arts.
“This will allow them to serve a freer and bigger market, expanding opportunities for diverse services between the two regions.”
Kenya is a key leader in Africa for promoting sustainability and is a reliable partner in the fight against climate change.
It works closely with the EU and others and co-leads the Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate initiative.
The EU-Kenya EPA is special because it’s the first deal with a developing country that shows the EU’s new way of doing trade and sustainable development.
This fair agreement considers Kenya’s development needs. It also gives more time for Kenya to slowly open its market.
Besides that, it has special protection for agriculture, food security, and new industries.
EU-Kenya EPA Fostering Economic Resilience
A special part about economic and development cooperation is in the agreement. This part helps make Kenya’s economy stronger.
With help from the EU’s development assistance, Kenya can improve its abilities and smoothly follow the EPA.
This support also helps local farmers meet EU standards and take advantage of the agreement’s opportunities.
Moreover, this agreement matches the Commission’s promise to work more closely with partners in Africa.
The goal is to make trade between Europe and Africa and within Africa better and more sustainable.
As a result, this helps both the EU-Africa relationship and the move towards a greener future.
In her remarks, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said:
“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 and bring 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.”