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Background Information

Employment History

Ambassador To Kenya

European Union

Chief Executive Officer

FPEAK Stephen Mbithi


Board Member
The Foreign Correspondents' Association of East Africa

Web References (140 Total References)


www.machinery-user.com [cached]

EU Ambassador to Kenya, Lodewijk Briet, has said that EU will fund a regional security and health center to be constructed in Kenya to manage chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack.

Briet said this in a statement released on Friday, a year after an attack to Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

EU envoy urges Kenya to sign ...

www.coastweek.com [cached]

EU envoy urges Kenya to sign 'duty free' flower export agreement

NAIVASHA (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) ambassador to Kenya Lodewijk Briet has urged the Kenyan government to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU in time so as to benefit fully from duty free exports to the European market.
According to EU statistics, Kenya's flower sector earned 495 million U.S. dollars in sales of roses exported to Europe last year, which contributed to 30 percent of the total exports to the European market during the same period.
Still, EU ambassador to Kenya Lodewijk Briet said this was a drop as Kenya delayed signing the EPAs negotiated between the EU and Africa last year.
"The delay which took three months to complete had a huge impact on the sales of exported Kenyan flowers," he said.
"The deadline for ratification is October 2016, and we need Kenya to sign the agreement in time so as to avoid the last minute rush," the ambassador said.
Kenya is one of the high class flower exporters in the world. The East African nation supplies flowers mainly to European countries including Holland, Britain, Germany, France and Switzerland.
"As we will embrace Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day, we expect better sales in Europe," said Kenya Flower Council (KFC) Chairman Richard Fox Wednesday during a visit to Naivasha, Kenya's largest cut flower center, along with a EU delegation ahead of Valentine's Day.
Fox said they expected flower sales in Europe in the next four months to increase by 40 percent and out-number those of last year.
A worker prepares roses for export at Van Den Berg Flower Farm Naivasha | Coastweek
NAIVASHA (Xinhua) -- A worker prepares roses for export at Van Den Berg Flower Farm ahead of Valentine's Day in Naivasha, Kenya.
According to industry data, flower sector in Kenya employs over 500,000 people both directly and indirectly, and supports the livelihood of over two million households.

The EU Ambassador ...

www.ucifa.com [cached]

The EU Ambassador Lodewijk Briët said the bloc would remove Kenya from the preferential list again, if the East African Community fails to ratify the new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) by October 2016.

The removal of Kenya from the list would hurt exporters of flowers, fish, fruits and vegetables, accessing the EU market under the less-generous Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) which attracts tariffs of up to 15 per cent.
"We are optimistic that the EAC will be able to sign the agreement by August this year so that there can be enough time to have it ratified before the October 1 deadline," Mr Briët said on Tuesday during a tour of Naivasha flower farms.
"The private and public sectors need to complement the commitments made in the EPAs with serious reforms to reap the maximum benefits," said Mr Briët.

EU hopes EPA with Kenya to ...

www.coastweek.com [cached]

EU hopes EPA with Kenya to be concluded by end of October

"Kenya is the only African country that is paying import tariffs to access the EU market," he said.
Under the agreement, the EU will open 100 percent of its market to Kenya.
EPA will also help Kenya to import intermediary products competitively.
"Through market liberalization, Kenyan businesses will gain easier access to high quality inputs from the EU," he said.
Head of EU Delegation in Kenya Lodjweik Briet said that the EU is extremely keen to bring the negotiations to an end. "It is part of our major priorities to ensure that trade is not disrupted," Briet said.
"The earlier a deal is sealed, the shorter will be the period in which Kenyan goods will be affected by tariffs," he said.
NAIVASHA (Xinhua) -- Kenya's flower farms have threatened to relocate to neighbouring countries after talks between EU and East Africa Community (EAC) collapsed and thus attracted taxes in accessing European markets.
The disadvantage for Kenya is a relatively strong manufacturing base, which does not fall in the Least Developed Countries category that allows tariff-free exports to the EU.
Least developed country status means other member states will continue benefiting from tax exemptions, even if the signing of the EPA is delayed.
According to Kenya Flower Council Managing Director Jane Ngige, price of Kenya's flower exports to the EU could rise by 5-8 percent, since exports have been categorized under Generalized System of Preference (GSP) tariffs.
The remarks came after Kenya called for the speedy conclusion of the trade talks.

Lodewijk Briet, the ...

flowersandcents.com [cached]

Lodewijk Briet, the EU's ambassador to Kenya, said in a statement that the EU had "fast-tracked" approval of the deal and called it a "Christmas gift for Kenyan exporters." "I am very happy to confirm that, as of Christmas day, Kenyan goods - cut flowers, fresh produce and much more - will once again enter the European Union market without tariffs or quota limits," Briet said. About a third of Kenya's flower sales come in the two weeks leading up to Feb. 14 each year, according to the Fresh Producers Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK). Briet said 200 billion shillings ($2.21 billion) worth of goods are exported from Kenya to Europe each year, making the EU Kenya's largest export market.

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