1. Principal Secretary in the State Department for Trade and Enterprise Development Amb. Johnson Weru.
2.A.g Chair Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Dr. Wilberforce Oundo during the retreat workshop.
29th January, 2021.
By Public Communications Unit
The Kenya - UK Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be subjected to public participation before its ratification ahead of the 31st March, 2021 deadline.
According to the Acting Chair of the National Assembly Deparmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Dr. Wilberforce Oundo, Parliament will call for views and comments from the public through a notice in the local dailies early next week. Wananchi will have seven days within which to submit their views.
Dr. Oundo who is also the Member of Parliament for Funyula said the views will then be consolidated into a report as part of the ratification process the EPA must undergo.
He was speaking during a retreat workshop organized by the State Department for Trade and Enterprise Development in a Mombasa hotel to brief the Committee on the EPA talks and their implications to Kenyan farmers and manufacturers who are set to benefit from the ratification as exports to the U.K. are projected to triple from Ksh 597 Billion in 2019 to a projected Ksh 2 Trillion in 2025.
Principal Secretary in the State Department for Trade and Enterprise Development Ambassador Johnson Weru told the Committee that Kenya entered into a three-month transition mechanism period with the U.K. Government signed in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was effected on 1st January 2021.
He said the ratification was necessary as the two countries signed the EPA on 8th December, 2020 that ensures exports from Kenya and the East Africa Community region continue to enjoy duty-free quota-free access to the UK after Brexit which came into effect on 31st January, 2020.
Addressing the Members of Parliament during the retreat, the PS urged them to consider the report favourably to ensure Kenya abides by the stipulated March deadline. He clarified that the EPA will only enter into force when the two countries deposit the instrument of ratification in the respective depositories.
In the event that the EPA is not ratified within the timeframe provided in the MOU, Kenya will lose the duty-free quota-free market access to the UK, leading to loss of employment and reduction in tax revenue, among others.
The UK is one of the top five export destinations for Kenyan goods with an annual average of Ksh 39 Billion over the last five years.