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EU to Engage Kenya Directly on Trade Talks after EAC Fails to Endorse Deal

The European Union is set to engage Kenya directly in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) following failure by other East African Community members to endorse the deal.

Valdis Dombrovskis the union executive vice-president and commissioner for trade said the bloc will engage kenya after the EAC members allowed individual countries that are ready to enter into an agreement with the EU to proceed.

“The EU will now engage with Kenya, which has already signed and ratified the regional EPA, on the modalities towards its implementation. The EPA is an important trade and development tool and its implementation with Kenya would be a building block towards regional economic integration,” Valdis Dombrovskis.

The official spoke in Brussels after meeting a Kenyan trade delegation led by Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development CS Betty Maina and East African Community and Regional Development CS Adan Mohamed, who had accompanied President Uhuru during his official visit to the European Union seat.

The EPA agreement which was signed in 2014 had not come into life due to lack of signatures from other EAC counties.

Kenya and Rwanda were the only two countries in the region to sign the EPA deal with Europe in 2016 after Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi refused to endorse it. As a result, Nairobi got into a temporary arrangement with the Union to allow its goods duty-free access to the expansive market.

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