Kenya has secured safeguards to protect its primary industries from the European Union after it ratified a trade deal with Brussels allowing continued unrestricted access of its exports to the bloc.
The deal signed by Kenya offers insights to other East Africa Community members, notably Tanzania and Burundi, which have hesitated to sign the EPA for fear that it will derail their industrialisation plans.
Tanzania has asked for more time to assess the potential impact while Burundi insists it will not sign the agreement until the EU lifts economic sanctions against it. The sanctions arose from President Pierre Nkurunziza’s successful push for a third term amid protests over its legitimacy.
The EPA Kenya ratified on Wednesday protects sensitive products such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables, fish, textiles and clothing, footwear, and vehicles from competition from European exporters for 15 years.
Other products excluded from liberalisation include chemicals, plastics, wood-based paper, ceramic products, glassware, articles of base metal, and wines and spirits.
The EPA will see Kenya allow EU imports to compete across 80 per cent of its tariffs, going by value.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK