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East Africa: Rwanda Eyes More Exports, Investment Ties From EPA Deal

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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

East Africa: Rwanda Eyes More Exports, Investment Ties From EPA Deal

Rwanda has no issues signing the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union as the country seeks to expand its exports, tap into the EU development funds and boost foreign investments. Rwanda's exports have been falling over years, and to cushion the economy from further stress on foreign reserves, the country has embarked on an export diversification plan targeting Europe as one of the markets. However, a last minute objection by Tanzania to sign the draft East African Community (EAC)-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) fearing it could suffocate Tanzania's infant industries stands in Rwanda's way. An expert who participated in the trade negotiations on the EAC side described critics who say the draft agreement is skewed in favour of the EU as "insincere." "Why at this time after walking the long journey together?" John Bosco Kanyangoga, a regional and international trade consultant at Kigali-based firm Trade and Development Links wondered.

Source: allafrica.com