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East Africa-EU trade deal goes unsigned

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

East Africa-EU trade deal goes unsigned

On July 18, the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the East African Community (EAC) and the European Union (EU) was set to be signed, however, it did not go ahead as planned. Officials who spoke to The New Times over the weekend were non-committal on divulging details pertaining to the sudden change of heart that comes after Tanzania recently decided to halt signing, citing the "turmoil" that the EU is experiencing following Britain's exit. The East African Business Council (EABC) has been advising partner states to sign the deal earlier than previously agreed as further delay, it argued, would hamper EAC exports to the EU. "The signing has been called off so whatever issues are contentious should be brought to the table for renegotiation," EABC chief executive Lilian Awinja said. Emmanuel Hategeka, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, confirmed that both parties agreed to call off the signing. The five partner states previously proposed that the signing ceremony be held in the first week of August.

Source: freshplaza.com