Trade PS Chris Kiptoo on Thursday signed a $ 3.7 million deal with the EU to enhance access to European markets.
The EU-EAC Market Upgrade project aims to increase intra-EAC trade of food and horticultural products and exports to European markets, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
The Market Access Upgrade Programme) is a regional development initiative that aims to contribute to the economic growth of the East African Community.
According to the International Trade Centre, it aims to support increased exports of agribusiness and horticultural products, promote regional integration as well as access to European markets. MARKUP assists small and medium-sized enterprises in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda by targeting specific agricultural commodities such as avocado, cocoa, coffee, spices, tea and horticulture.
Jointly designed by the European Union, the EAC Secretariat and the governments of all five countries, the initiative will be implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and other national partners. This four-year programme is funded from the Regional Indicative Programme for EAC under the 11th European Development Fund.
The EU-EAC EPA covers trade in goods and fisheries as well as development cooperation that aims to reinforce cooperation on the sustainable use of resources. Further negotiations are ongoing to include services and trade-related rules in the future.
There has been a standoff in teh EAC to sign the EPA, which gives EAC products total access to the EU market, with 82.6 per cent of imports from the EU allowed into the EAC market.
Tanzania and Burundi are hesitant.
However, the EU maintains EAC has to sign the EPA as a bloc