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Kenya and EU Enforce Landmark Trade Deal After Decade-Long Negotiations

NAIROBI – Kenya and the European Union have finalized a comprehensive trade agreement following ten years of intense negotiations, marking a significant milestone in bilateral economic relations.

Effective this Monday, the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) now facilitates duty-free access for goods from the EU into Kenya, a privilege extended under the pact for the next 25 years.

Announcing the agreement’s commencement, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade and Industry, Rebecca Miano, underscored its transformative potential.

“The EU-Kenya EPA stands as a testament to robust economic cooperation,” Ms. Miano remarked, highlighting its unprecedented scope among African nations. She further emphasized its potential as a model for similar agreements across Eastern Africa.

Integral to the EPA is its safeguarding of Kenyan exports, particularly agricultural products like vegetables, cut flowers, fruits, tea, and coffee, ensuring their continued tariff-free entry into the EU market.

In reciprocation, Nairobi commits to a gradual reduction in import duties from Europe over the next quarter-century, eventually culminating in liberalized trade terms.

The agreement not only encompasses trade provisions but also includes a dedicated chapter on sustainable development. This segment addresses critical issues such as labor rights, gender equality, forestry, environmental conservation, and climate change mitigation, reflecting a joint commitment to balanced economic growth.

With the EU-Kenya EPA now in effect, stakeholders from both regions anticipate heightened economic cooperation and expanded opportunities for mutual prosperity.

As Kenya steps into this new era of trade relations, the agreement sets a precedent for future collaborations between the European Union and developing nations worldwide.

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