EU and Kenya advance talks on interim Economic Partnership Agreement with sustainability provisions

Economic Partnerships | Brussels, 17 February 2022

The EU and Kenya agreed today to advance negotiations on an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA). This important agreement will enhance trade and investment opportunities and help boost sustainable economic growth and job creation. The iEPA will be complemented by binding commitments on environmental protection, climate and labor rights. It reflects the pending EPA initialled in 2014 between the EU and the East African Community (EAC).

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, said: “On the day of the EU-African Union summit, we are delighted to announce our engagement with Kenya to boost our trade ties. We will now move forward with the Economic Partnership Agreement, and we will also negotiate the trade and sustainability aspects. Africa is much more than just our neighbor – it is our partner. The closer our economies, the greater the benefits for our people and businesses. This applies not just to our relations with Kenya, but to the entire Eastern Africa region and to Africa as a whole.”

The future EU-Kenya iEPA will liberalize trade in goods on a mutual basis. It will give duty-free quota-free access to the EU market for all Kenyan exports and partial and gradual opening of the Kenyan market, including agriculture and fishery products. It will also set up trade-related rules on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, technical barriers to trade and customs and trade facilitation. This liberalization will be accompanied by trade-related development cooperation with a view to boost sustainable economic growth and job creation.

The EU and Kenya share a strong desire to discuss and integrate environmental protection and social rights in their trade and investment relations. To that end, the EU and Kenya agreed to negotiate binding provisions on trade and sustainable development in their iEPA, which will be subject to an appropriate dispute settlement mechanism.

The iEPA will remain open for joining of other East African Community Partners States.

EU-Kenya joint statement

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February 17, 2022, 19:11 GMT

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