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European Parliament Approves Kenya-EU Economic Partnership Agreement

The Kenya-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, witnessed by President William Ruto and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Nairobi on December 18th, 2023, has been approved by the European Parliament. This landmark agreement guarantees Kenyan exporters permanent duty-free and quota-free access to the vast €14 trillion market spanning 27 countries.

The European Parliament’s recent decision to greenlight this agreement signifies a crucial step in strengthening trade ties between the EU and East Africa’s economic powerhouse. With MEPs voting overwhelmingly in favor of the agreement, it paves the way for enhanced cooperation and economic growth between the two parties.

The EU-Kenya EPA is more than just a trade deal; it embodies the EU’s commitment to sustainable development and international standards. Binding provisions on labor, gender equality, climate, and the environment ensure that both parties uphold their obligations while fostering economic cooperation.

Kenya’s status as the EU’s second-largest trading partner in Africa underscores the significance of this agreement. With total trade reaching €3.3 billion in 2022, the EPA promises to provide Kenyan exports with duty-free, quota-free access to the lucrative EU market. Conversely, it facilitates the gradual opening of Kenya’s market to EU imports, fostering a balanced and mutually beneficial trade relationship.

Alessandra Mussolini, the rapporteur for the agreement, aptly describes it as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation. By promoting trade and investment, the EPA has the potential to uplift living standards and drive sustainable development in Kenya.

As the EU-Kenya EPA moves forward, the Council’s final formal approval is the next crucial step in completing the ratification process on the EU side. This agreement not only strengthens bilateral ties but also sets a precedent for future cooperation between the EU and other African nations.

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