New trade deals with the West’s rivalry with China as a backdrop
Kenya and the European Union have signed a trade agreement to give the African country duty-free and quota-free access to the European market. Agricultural products – vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee and cut flowers – will be Kenya’s main exports. In turn, tariffs on imported goods from the EU will be gradually lowered over 25 years. The agreement will create a stable market for farmers and industrialists. This is the first major EU-Africa trade deal since 2016, countering Chinese investment in the continent. The agreement affects all of Africa and is open to other members of the East African Community.
Conversely, Morocco benefits from investments by both Western and Chinese companies, unwilling to take sides in the new trade cold war. In a special zone south of Tangier, western Renault, Lear Corporation, Valeo, Chinese ZTT Group, and battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech Co are investing. The local Tanger Automotive City is a dynamically developing industrial zone, as is Tanger Tech City – a smart city with public infrastructure, residential districts and tourist facilities.
Cuba has reaffirmed its alliance with Russia through a series of deals on oil supplies, wheat sales, the expansion of the MIR card payment system and the resumption of flights between the two countries that were interrupted by the war in Ukraine. MIR cards allow Russian tourists to withdraw cash and exchange rubles for Cuban pesos. They are accepted in other partner countries of Russia, including Turkey and Vietnam.