EAC and US take 'important steps' toward trade partnership
Ministers from East African Community member states and officials from US government agencies jointly announced on Saturday that they have taken "important steps" to advance a trade and investment partnership.
The EAC and the US said they will hold technical talks "at the soonest possible date" regarding negotiations on a proposed investment treaty and trade-facilitation agreement.
In talks held in Nairobi on Friday, the two sides also established a framework for a "commercial dialogue" that will formally get underway late next month.
Kenyan Trade Minister Moses Wetang'ula and US Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis met separately on Friday to discuss ways to boost the two countries' trade and investment relations.
The US embassy noted that trade in goods between Kenya and the United States was valued at $846 million last year … an increase of 23 percent from 2010.
The envisioned US-EAC trade and investment partnership aims to facilitate economic integration of EAC member states as well as to strengthen American-East African commercial relations, according to Saturday's announcement.
"This new partnership is built on the recognition of the important role that trade and investment play in economic and social development, including job creation, both in East Africa and the United States," the statement said.
EAC ministers and the US trade representative agreed to meet again on the sidelines of the 2013 Agoa Forum scheduled for June in Ethiopia.