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Wednesday, 07 September 2016

East Africa: EU Trade Deal Will Ease Local Products' Access to Bigger Market

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed by the Trade ministers of Rwanda and Kenya on Wednesday in Brussels, Belgium will make it easier for Rwandan products to access the EU market, according to the Ministry for Trade and Industry (MINICOM). The EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement is a trade and development agreement between the East African Community (EAC) Partner States and the EU member countries providing a framework for cooperation between the two blocs in areas of trade and development. In a statement, the ministry noted that last year alone, the EU took in 28 per cent of Rwanda's total exports, mainly composed of minerals, coffee, tea and horticulture products. "The agreement provides a more predictable and rule governed transparent trade regime which will enhance FDI inflows. The regime also has simplified rules of origin which will make it easier for Rwandan products to access the EU market," reads part of the statement. Rwanda's Trade and Industry minister Francois Kanimba and his Kenyan counterpart Adan Mohammed signed the trade deal in Brussels on Thursday, pursuant to the EAC council decision earlier this year for the EAC to sign the EPA with the EU around August 2016.