Kenya trade agreement with EU under fire

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African trade promotion organisations have voiced concern about the recently announced trade deal between Kenya and the EU as a threat to other countries in east and southern Africa.

Calling for the deal to be rescinded, they have pointed to it being a stumbling block for initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The EPA is a free trade agreement under which the European Union allows its partners quota- and tariff-free exports, while these countries also lift trade restrictions on European goods in a phased manner.

However, Kenya’s dilemma is that while the EU is a significant market for Kenya – it exports raw material and fresh products like flowers and fruits – it has a bigger market in East Africa, which it could focus on.

Rangarirai Machemedze, coordinator of The Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (seatini) – Southern Africa, says that Kenya will find it hard to trade with Europe without a deal. He also condemned the way the EU/Kenya deal was designed, without providing for incentives that had been agreed on in the early negotiations. Source: Fresh Plaza

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