NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The EU on Monday expressed optimism that
member states of the East African Community (EAC) will
sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Tonoli, Trade adviser with EU Delegation to Kenya said
the EAC Heads of State last year expressed the
willingness to move ahead as a bloc so that they can
continue enjoying the duty and quote free market.
respect this and want to support EAC regional
integration. We understand that our partners need some
time to continue their internal process,” Tonoli said in
a statement issued in Nairobi.
respects the decision making process in the region and
that we hope that the countries that have not done so
yet will sign soon so that the EPA can be implemented
and provide benefits to the region,” he added.
that negotiations went on for many years because the EPA
deals with very complex issues, providing modern
mechanisms to address them.
Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed
last week assured that Nairobi still has access to the
EU market despite that the other East African countries
failed to sign the EPAs.
Kenya could only be limited to enjoy duty and quota free
access market if the other countries completely fail to
sign as outlined in the trade protocol.
complied with the first condition of the EPAs protocol
of signing and ratifying it. However, Kenya is likely to
lose on other benefits such as European Development Fund
(EDF) as the same demands signing of the trade framework
be executed by the entire bloc,” Mohamed said.
hoping that during the next EAC summit scheduled next
month, positive outcome will be realized so that there
can be a smooth trade between the region and EU,” he
All the EAC
countries ought to have signed the EPAs as a bloc with
the EU by Feb. 2. The CS confirmed that Kenya signed and
ratified the document mid last year while Rwanda has
delayed the full actualization of the pact and refused
to sign, claiming the agreement would have serious
consequences for its revenues and the growth of its
expressed a commitment to append its signature but
insists Tanzania must be on board first.
which has been sanctioned by the EU following political
upheavals says it will not sign the trade deal until the
sanctions are withdrawn.