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EU Strikes Trade Deal with East African Community

Lucy Towers
27 October 2014, at 12:00am

GLOBAL - Negotiators from the EU and the East African Community (EAC) have finalised a new comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between both regions.

The agreement will provide legal certainty for businesses and open a long-term perspective for free and unlimited access to the EU market for products from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

"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", said EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht.

"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."

In 2013, total trade between the EU and the East African Community amounted to €5.8 billion. The EU imports from the EAC are worth €2.2 billion and consist mostly of coffee, cut flowers, tea, tobacco, fish and vegetables.

Exports from the EU into the EAC, mainly machinery and mechanical appliances, equipment and parts, vehicles and pharmaceutical products, amount to €3.5 billion.