The European Union and the East African Community (EAC) have concluded Thursday a new economic agreement (EPA), the statement published on the EU’s website said.
“The East African Community region stands out for its dynamism, and ambition to develop as an integrated region. The comprehensive partnership agreement we have just reached is the best way in which we can support EAC’s aspirations”, European Union Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht said in the statement. According to the statement, the new agreement will enable products from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, the five members of the EAC, to enter the EU market by providing legal certainty.
“We have concluded two other development-oriented partnerships with African regions this year. It’s a source of my personal satisfaction also to see East Africa benefiting from the opportunities that Europe wants to offer. I hope that these EPAs will be signed and implemented soon,” De Gucht added in the statement.
The statement also said that the EAC countries will now be able to boost their economic performance without concerns over loss of full duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market thanks to improvement in their status. All the EAC countries will enjoy the same benefits offered by the EU without regard to the degree of their advancement and development, according to the statement. The deal follows an agreement reached in 2007 on tariff elimination, which acts as the foundation for today’s agreement.