Kenya and Burundi are set to sign an agreement that will see them sell agricultural products to Europe duty-free. The deal will be signed next week after a Sectoral Council of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment by the region’s countries.
A meeting of ministers responsible for East African affairs met on June 30 and proposed the agreement be signed on July 18. All four partner states, except Tanzania, agreed to sign the agreement, citing ‘ economic uncertainty resulting from Brexit impact’
Deputy President William Ruto insinuated that Kenya stands to lose if Tanzania stands it’s ground, stating,”In the event we fail to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) as a bloc, all EAC partner states stand to lose generous market access terms negotiated under the EU market.”
Tanzania’s decision means Kenya’s exports to the EU – mainly flowers and vegetables – will attract tax.
Ruto, who spoke after meeting Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza in Bujumbura Tuesday, termed the deal a chance to increase trade.
Kenya exports produce worth Sh120 billion to the EU market.