1302 South Africa Interference in Kenya-EU Trade Relations

The economic partnership negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Kenya are ongoing through a difficult moment. It is not just a problem of a bilateral agreement between the EU and Kenya but a problem of unfair competition by South Africa. The EU thinks South Africa would be avoiding the restrictions to export some products into the EU through the Kenyan market.


         In 2004, the EU and South Africa signed an economic agreement whereby both countries were to liberalize their markets progressively with the exception of some sensitive products, especially raw materials. It seems that South Africa is avoiding this restriction selling these raw materials to Kenya, and in a second step, Kenya would be transforming these raw materials in processed products that would be sold to the EU.


         This situation is affecting not only to these countries but to the regional integration and their economic agreements. These new agreements are giving a new input to the African countries that are exploring that as an opportunity to grow economically. The EU considers that this practise is distorting the market between the EU and African Regions.  


         To solve this problem, there is a round of negotiations among the experts of the Ministry of Trade of those countries and regions, because the problem not only affect to South Africa and Kenya but to other regions in Africa, although the pressure is more on Kenya due to its large export portfolio in to the EU. According to government statistics, EU market absorbs 24 per cent of its total national exports.


 Source: bilateras.org

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