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Speaker and EU envoy meet, discuss economic partnership

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula Tuesday held a meeting with the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, who called on him in his office at Parliament Buildings.

Wetang’ula said the Economic Partnerships Agreement (EPA) between Kenya and the European Union (EU) regarding trade in goods, fisheries, agriculture and also economic and development cooperation dominated their discussion.

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“The agreement seeks to secure long-term market access for exports on a duty-free quota basis and gradually reduce tariffs on goods from the EU, among other provisions,” the Speaker explained.

He added, “As I acknowledged how the agreement would turn around the economic fortunes of Kenyans, I briefed the envoy on the progress made by the National Assembly in ratifying the document for the good of the country”.

The Speaker recounted how he was part of the journey to ease access to the export market duty-free and quota-free in the EU for sustainable economic growth of the country.

“When I served as a Foreign Affairs Minister I started the discussion and I am happy that my dream is almost being realised,” he added.

Wetang’ula noted that the agreement reflected the interests that will help the growth of trade between Kenya and EU, which is the second-highest trading partner.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Trade James Gakuya who attended the meeting explained that the document would be subjected to public participation next week as required by the law.

“We have made strides as a Committee in the process of ratifying the Agreement. We have rolled out a public participation programme in eight counties starting next week,” said the Embakasi North MP.

He added that the Committee will invite the EU Ambassador as an observer during the stakeholders’ engagements on the document.

Geiger pointed out that she was impressed with the work done by Kenya on the document which she noted that if ratified would be a game changer to the country’s economic growth.

“Kenya will reap maximum benefits from the Agreement if ratified,” she added.

The envoy noted that EU was committed to helping Kenya build capacity of the business community to have optimal use of the Agreement.







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