KENYA – Kenya and the European Union (EU) have inked a significant Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), signaling a monumental leap toward enhancing bilateral trade, amplifying investment inflows, and fostering mutual sustainable economic growth.

The formal signing ceremony, graced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Kenyan President Dr. William Samoei Ruto in Nairobi, underscores the collaborative endeavor aimed at promoting job creation and fostering Kenya’s economic advancement.

“This trade deal stands as the most ambitious pact signed by the EU with a developing country, embedding robust sustainability measures encompassing climate and environmental protection, labor rights, and gender equality,” emphasized the European Commission.

The EPA, a pivotal facet of the EU-East African Community (EAC) EPA, endeavors to invite other EAC nations to join in the future, as stated by the European Commission.

With the EU being Kenya’s primary export destination and second-largest trade partner, recording a substantial EUR 3.3 billion (USD 3.61 billion) in bilateral trade in 2022, a 27% surge from 2018, the EPA is poised to fortify trade prospects by granting full access to the EU market for Kenyan products upon enforcement.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, lauded Kenya as a vital partner, expressing confidence that the new Economic Partnership Agreement will elevate bilateral trade and foster robust partnerships.

The EPA not only facilitates increased EU investments in Kenya but also solidifies the nation’s stance as a vanguard in sustainable initiatives across Africa, playing a pivotal role in combating climate change.

“This signals Kenya’s commitment to exporting premium products to Europe, further fortifying the relationship between Kenya and the EU,” emphasized Okisegere Ojepat, CEO of the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya).

Built upon Kenya’s steadfast commitment to sustainability, the EU-Kenya EPA stands as the first agreement with a developing nation, reflecting the EU’s novel approach to trade and sustainable development.

Incorporating provisions for Kenya’s gradual market opening and safeguarding sectors like agriculture, food security, and infant industries, the agreement amplifies economic and developmental cooperation, elevating Kenya’s competitive edge.

“The Kenya-EU Economic Partnership Agreement culminates in extensive efforts by the Kenya Flower Council and key partners like UNION FLEURS – International Flower Trade Association, securing duty-free, quota-free access for Kenya’s cut-flowers, ornamentals, fruits, and vegetables in the EU market,” celebrated the Kenya Flower Council in a LinkedIn post.

Following its transmission to the European Parliament for consent, the EPA is poised to enter into force, ushering in a new era of elevated trade relations and augmented growth prospects for Kenya’s vibrant fresh produce sector.

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