Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday, December 8 signed a strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) after months of negotiations.
The agreement will deliver significant benefits to Kenya and its partners in the EAC region including access to UK’s market even after Brexit.
The signing of the agreement comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed earlier this year to negotiate a framework that will enhance trade and development cooperation between the two countries.
“We have agreed on a comprehensive package of benefits that will ensure a secure, long term and predictable market access for exports originating from the EAC free trade area.”
“We have a great opportunity ahead of us, to realize the mutual benefits that our two leaders, envisaged when they agreed on the need for a post-Brexit partnership framework,” Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Betty Maina said.
The partnership agreement will see the exports from the EAC countries continue to enjoy duty and quota free access to the UK and the EU markets.
In the agreement, UK will give privilege to agricultural goods originating from EAC region including Kenya’s key flowers and fresh produce.
In exchange, UK expects Kenya to renew its commitment and support African countries to realize their dream of an African Economic Community under the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Kenya and UK further agreed on shared approaches to trade and investment.
“This is about securing and protecting Kenya’s annual £2 billion ecosystem of trade with the UK on which hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of livelihoods depend. Delivery if this was our primary objective for the year and we are thrilled to be over the finishing line,” Kenyan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Manoah Esipisu, said.
UK has also promised to continue investing in key sectors of Kenya’s economy to support the Government’s priority Big Four agenda and Kenya’s Vision 2030 development programs.