The European Union (EU) market valued at €4300 billion has opened its doors to more than 500 agribusinesses in East Africa.
Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania are the beneficiaries of this new directive. These countries, under the EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP), which was established 5 years ago, in 2018, would be allowed to trade their agricultural produce with the EU.
Jose-Luiz Gonzalez, the programme officer of the EU delegation in Tanzania and EAC, spoke at the virtual launch of MARKUP and noted that the EU is excited to foster its economic relationship with these East African states via this initiative.
He noted that the long-time relationship between the EU and EAC has been very eventful and beneficial to both parties with its fair share of lessons and successes. He expressed that the relationship is an ever-evolving one, as they continue to adjust based on what works and what doesn’t, what needs to be tweaked, and what needs to remain the same to meet the requirements of today’s trading ecosystem.
“We have learnt from decades of trade and development cooperation that the link between increased exports and development is not automatic,” Jose-Luiz said. We supported the development and use of trade information portals as a tool to streamline export procedures and reduce the related cost.
Association in the coffee and horticulture sectors were trained to use the trade portal to assess the value of each step required to export their products,” he added.
The delegation officer asserted that the EU market is rife for EAC’s business as there is an ever-increasing demand for the products they have to offer, including tea, coffee, spices, and avocado.
“It is crucial that we take account of important developments such as the potential of the Africa Continental Free Trade to boost EAC exports. Environmental sustainability and climate-smart agriculture a key to growing agri-exports, as is increasing value addition and facilitating access to appropriate technology,” Jose-Luiz elaborated.
Source: Business Insider Africa