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East Africa: EAC five sign EU trade deal

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Monday, 22 September 2014

East Africa: EAC five sign EU trade deal

The East African Community has signed the Economic Partnership Agreement ahead of the October 1 deadline. Although the process was delayed due to varied positions by the five East African countries, Foreign Affairs Secretary, Amina Mohammed welcomed the ratification that will shelve huge taxes on import and export produces. EPA's as they are known govern the trade relations between African Countries and the European Union.

The signing, which is a renewal of the original contract that ends next month, was supposed to have been effected in July, but has been delayed due to inability by the states to forge a common stand.

Hailing the action that was operationalised on Saturday, Mohammed said failure by the countries to agree on a common position would have led to great loss of money through imposed levies."If negotiations had not succeeded, a lot of money would have been lost, especially by farmers who export flowers and horticultural goods to the European Union countries," Mohammed said. She was addressing the press in her office yesterday, a day after returning from Arusha, Tanzania where the state parties had converged to deliberate on common stand prior to renewing the contract.

"We have agreed as the East African Community and signed everything; we have a good deal," she said, adding that the move was a confirmation of exemption from taxes. Mohammed said the Kenyan delegation included among others, Agriculture and EAC Secretaries, Felix Koskei and Phylis Kandie.

Source : allafrica.com

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