Kenya is optimistic that it will meet the October 1 deadline for the signing of the contentious European Union long-term trade treaty. The deal involves the EU and the East African Community.
Representatives of the trade bloc meeting in Arusha on Wednesday arrived at a workable solution to outstanding issues which have delayed signing of the pact.
“We hope the EU will accept our negotiated level of understanding in this agreement. We are optimistic they will and we shall meet the October 1, deadline,” Mr Nelson Ndirangu, the director of Economic and International Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Nation in Nakuru on Thursday.
FOURT PER CENT OF EXPORTS
Kenya exports flowers to the EU worth Sh46.3 billion and vegetables valued at Sh26.5 billion every year. The EU takes about 40 per cent of Kenya’s fresh produce exports.
Failure to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by the October 1 deadline will result in Kenyan goods being subjected to a 12 per cent duty for entering the EU.
Mr Ndirangu said the Arusha meeting paved the way for presentation of the bloc’s resolutions to the EU. “There is hope, I can report. After presenting our negotiated position, it will be the EU to respond and we are optimistic that we are signing the agreement by October 1,” he said.
He was addressing a two-day workshop on validation of Kenya’s trade facilitation needs assessment at Merica Hotel.
Source URL: Daily Nation
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