Kenyan exporters secure permanent duty free access to European Union Market » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – Kenyan exporters Monday secured a permanent duty-free access to the 27 country, €14 trillion European Union market when Trade Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano signed the Kenya–EU Economic Partnership Agreement alongside European Union Ambassador Henriette Geiger, at State House, Nairobi.

The event that concluded several years of negotiations to permanently secure Kenya’s largest export market was witnessed by President William Ruto and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

This agreement opens up additional avenues for exporters of Kenyan flowers, vegetables, avocadoes, coffee and other products to secure long-term buyer partnerships in the EU as well as stronger incentives to invest more in productionand value addition.

Further, the agreement signals Kenya’s readiness to diversify her export mix into Europe, with value-added manufactured products such as industrial shoes, articles of leather and fully packaged and branded
bouquets of flowers increasingly finding their way onto supermarket shelves across Europe.

“Today’s agreement heralds a new era where Kenyan goods gain immediate and permanent
duty and quota-free access to the European market. Over time, European goods will also gain preferential access to the Kenyan
market.We celebrate this relationship and look forward to its contribution to increased investment and industrial innovation,” Miano stated.

Meanwhile, President Ruto observed that the agreement opens a great opportunity for the export of farm produce and specifically recognizes the value addition aspect hence helping us create more jobs locally and grow our revenues.

The European Commission President von der Leyen stated that the agreement will help Kenya access good equipment and
machinery from Europe that will help in achieving and maintain high quality products.

“It’s also our hope that other East African
countries can join into this agreement in the near future.”

This economic partnership covers cooperation on several issues including trade in goods, fisheries, agriculture, economic and development cooperation among other trade topics.

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It also contains ambitious commitments towards environmental protection and sustainable trade, topics that President Ruto has championed in the context of climate
change and Kenya’s transition to a green economy.

Kenya’s Chief Trade Negotiator during the negotiation process was Trade Principal Secretary, Alfred K’Ombudo.

Following its signature, the agreement now proceeds to Kenya’s National Assembly and the European Parliament for ratification, after which implementation begins.

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