European Union Earmarks Kenya for Free Trade Deal; Here Are the Benefits
President William Ruto (left) walking alongside Charles Michel, President of the European Council at Brusells, Belgium on March 30, 2023.
President William Ruto’s vision for turning around the economic fortunes of Kenya was boosted by the European Union bloc on Thursday, May 25.
European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis made the announcement after meeting trade ministers in Brussels, Belgium.
“We have invested significant energy and resources into progressing several important deals.
A photo of the European Union Trade Ministers meeting held at Brusells, Belgium on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
“We want to conclude negotiations with Australia and Kenya by the summer,” Valdis reported.
European Union views Kenya as critical to its economic prosperity and security, signalling the bloc’s trust in the Ruto administration.
“Our trade deals are critical for the EU’s economic security and competitiveness and also help us grow our exports and therefore support more European jobs.
“They also help secure diversified and reliable access to the inputs we need for our green and digital transitions,” Valdis explained why the trade deal was critical for the Union and Kenya.
On February 21, 2023, Ruto urged the European Union to open free trade, noting its benefits to Kenya. Among them was Kenya expanding its export base and creating employment opportunities.
“It is one of the notable interventions that can make a tremendous difference to our economic performance and there is an excellent reason, in the EU’s best interests, to conclude the deals,” the President urged then.
With the free trade deal, Kenya will be prioritised exporting agricultural inputs to the EU, which will greatly boost farmers and the government’s revenue collection.
Manufacturers in Kenya will also be able to import raw materials to Kenya at lower prices hence lowering the cost of production.
EU is one of the biggest markets in the world for Kenya’s exports accounting for 21.1 per cent.
According to the EU, over 70 per cent of Kenya’s total flower production is exported to the bloc, creating 500,000 direct and indirect jobs for Kenyans.
European Union Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger and President William Ruto pose for a photo with other diplomats and Kenya Kwanza leaders at his former Karen home on Thursday, June 2, 2022
DPPS. Culled from Kenyans.co.ke