At a ceremony in Nairobi, which will be attended by President William Ruto, his trade minister Moses Kuria, and EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, the negotiations for the accord are scheduled to be officially concluded.
Once the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is in effect, Kenya would have tariff-free access to the EU, its largest market and the destination of about one-fifth of all exports.
These are primarily agricultural products, including the well-known tea and coffee of the nation and 70% of its flowers.
According to Dombrovskis, who called it a “momentous day” for the two nations, Kenya will gradually open its markets but will ban a number of sensitive goods.
“This puts us firmly on a path towards a privileged relationship, based on trust, rules and mutual opportunity,” he told reporters on Sunday, ahead of the formal announcement.
He said EU companies had invested 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in Kenya in the past decade but there was considerable “appetite” in doing more business.
“With this Economic Partnership Agreement in place, we have also the right platform to do so.”
It comes after China went on a spending binge on expensive infrastructure projects across the continent, and it is the first significant trade agreement between the EU and an African country since 2016.
The EU announced in February that it would raise investments in Kenya by hundreds of millions of dollars through its own Global Gateway plan, in an effort to compete with China’s Belt and Road program.
Dombrovskis praised Kenya as a “trusted and valuable partner for the EU” because it is recognized by the international community as a dependable and stable democracy in a volatile area.
He stated that Africa was a “priority region” for the EU and expressed the hope that the Kenya agreement would be adopted by other nations on the continent.