EU Gives Kenya Duty-Free Access to Market in Landmark Trade Deal

A cargo plane being loaded
A cargo plane being loaded

The European Union Council on Thursday, May 30, announced the adoption of a conclusion of the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement which will boost trade between the two jurisdictions.

Charles Michel the President of the European Council noted that this development will help enhance existing trade partnerships with Kenya.

"Excellent news that the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement is concluded today. This will enhance our already flourishing trade partnership with Kenya and contribute to sustainable economic growth," he stated.

In the agreement, Kenya has been granted duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market for all exports.

A photo of European Union Trade Ministers meeting held at Brusells, Belgium on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
A photo of the European Union Trade Ministers meeting held at Brusells, Belgium on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
European Union

Additionally, the EU will gradually and partially have access to the Kenyan markets for all its imports.

"The agreement will enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the parties have notified each other of the completion of their respective internal procedures," read a statement from the union.

Besides the trade agreement, this deal also includes binding provisions of trade and sustainable development such as climate and environmental protection and labour rights and a transparent resolution mechanism

"This agreement will strengthen our cooperation with Kenya, the economic hub of East Africa. Workers, businesses and traders on both sides will benefit from this shared commitment to sustainable development, including labour rights, the environment and climate action," Belgian minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade Hadja Lahbib stated.

The European Union has listed this as one of the most ambitious economic partnership agreement it will have with a developing nation.

This development will give Kenyans an advantange in the EU market and also increase the items exported.

Furthermore, this trade agreement will create more economic opportunities for Kenyans and boost Kenya's economic development.

Notably, the EU is among Kenya's first export destinations and second-largest trading partner. In June 2023, Kenya signed the European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) to increase Kenya's exports to the EU.

President William Ruto who was at the contracts signing event added that this agreement assured Kenya of an expanded, lucrative and sustainable market which will enhance trade and investment opportunities.

“This is a giant step forward. It sets the stage for the initiation of the EAC partner states into the Agreement," he added.

President William Ruto during the swearing in of 20 High Court judges at State House Nairobi, May 14.