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EU and East African Community (EAC) negotiators met at technical level in Brussels from 18 to 20 April 2012 to discuss dispute settlement, institutional provisions, agriculture, economic and development cooperation, sustainable development and good governance in tax matters. Good progress was made on several of the above-mentioned issues. This paves the way for the next round of negotiations to be held in Mombasa (Kenya), in May. This meeting was the fifth since last September when EAC and the EU resumed negotiations, thus confirming that the EPA process is on track. The Parties are following an agreed roadmap which should lead to the conclusion of negotiations by summer 2012.
The EAC region includes the East African nations of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. They initialled a "framework" or "interim" Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU in 2007, which was neither signed nor ratified. They are now engaged in further EPA negotiations with the EU.
The EU represents an important trade partner for the region, with around €3 billion of imports from the EU (mainly oil products, medicines, machinery and mechanical equipment, cars, aircrafts, electrical appliances etc.) and around €2 billion of exports towards the EU (mainly agro-food products: coffee, tea, fresh cut flowers, fisheries, tobacco, cocoa etc.) in 2010. Kenya, the biggest economy and the only non – Least Developed Country (LDC) in the region, heavily relies on the EU (which represents 31% of its export market) for selling its cut flowers, tea, vegetables and coffee.
For further information please visit: EU - EAC negotiations