New EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement

The European Union (EU) and Kenya have signed an ambitious trade agreement that bilaterally implements the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the East African Community (EAC). On June 11, 2024, the ADM announced that the EPA would come into force on July 1, 2024.

Main Objectives

1. Promotion of Trade and Investment

  • Market Access: Kenyan exports will have free access to the EU market without tariffs and quotas, except for arms.
  • Asymmetric Liberalization: Kenya will gradually open its market to EU imports, excluding sensitive products, with transition periods to facilitate local economic development.
  • Safeguard Measures: Both parties can reintroduce duties in case of excessive imports that disrupt local economies.

2. Agriculture and Industrial Development

  • Sustainable Development: Focus on food security, rural development, and job creation in the agricultural sector.
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS): Collaboration to harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary standards, strengthening Kenya’s capacity to implement them.

3. Sustainability and Social Rights

  • Environmental and Social Commitments: Inclusion of commitments to labor rights, gender equality, and environmental protection, with particular attention to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • Sustainable Trade: Measures to combat illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, and illegal fishing.
  • Kenya’s Role in Climate: Kenya co-chairs the Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate, highlighting its commitment to combating global warming.

4. Implementation and Monitoring

  • Institutional Structure: Creation of ministerial and technical bodies to monitor the implementation of the agreement.
  • Civil Society Involvement: Active role of business associations, trade unions, and NGOs in implementing the trade and sustainable development provisions.
  • Review and Update: Possibility to add new areas of cooperation, such as services and intellectual property rights, within five years of the agreement’s entry into force.

Expected Impacts

  • Increased Trade: In 2022, trade between the EU and Kenya reached EUR 3.3 billion, a 27% increase from 2018.
  • Economic Diversification: Improving the competitiveness of Kenya’s economy and greater integration into the global market.
  • Support for Local Agriculture: The EU will offer assistance to help Kenya implement the EPA, supporting local farmers in meeting EU standards.

The EU-Kenya EPA represents a significant milestone, being the first and most ambitious trade agreement with a developing country that includes strong commitments to sustainability, promoting economic development and combating global warming.


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