ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna (A&K) has announced the launch of its International Trade Law Practice as a separate department within the firm during the ‘Free Trade Agreements: What they mean for Kenya and Africa’ webinar, which was hosted by the firm on 24 November 2020 in partnership with international law firm White & Case and the American Chamber of Commerce. The launch of the practice comes in the wake of Kenya’s and Africa’s notable increase in participation within the international trade sphere.
“Free trade agreements create a conducive environment for trade and investment by eliminating impediments to the flow of goods and services,” says A&K Senior Partner Atiq Anjarwalla. “With time, we are seeing a new breed of free trade agreements which consider within them trade-plus issues such as improving the rules on investment, intellectual property, e-commerce, the environment and the rule of law,” Atiq further observed while launching the new practice.
At the heart of this initiative is the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which will bring into effect one of the world’s largest free trade areas. The AfCFTA is backed by existing regional integration efforts, including the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), amongst others.
Kenya has committed to leveraging trade deals to secure its own and the region’s prosperity. A key example is the Kenya-United States Free Trade Agreement negotiations which are intended to usher in a new era of bilateral relations and form the framework for future engagements between the US and other African countries.
“While international trade, investment and tax policies are inextricably linked, free trade agreements do more for countries and regions than just eliminating tariffs. When two different countries come together and enter into a free trade agreement, the diversity of the different countries becomes the wealth of the union between the countries as goods and services move freely to where they are most needed,” said A&K Partner and Head of Tax Daniel Ngumy, pointing out what free trade agreements mean for Africa.
In early November, Kenya began negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom, further demonstrating the country’s stance in advancing trade and investment deals for Kenya’s economic benefit.
“Free trade agreements provide a platform to collaborate on important socio-political issues such as the enhancement of good governance and commitment to the adherence to the rule of law. They also serve as a clarion call and a benchmark on the best practices for dealing with economic ills such as corruption and money laundering,” noted A&K Director Luisa Cetina after the International Trade Law Practice was launched.
A&K’s International Trade Law Practice, which will leverage ALN’s continental reach in conjunction with the other firms in the alliance, will focus on questions revolving around taxes and tariffs, commerce and investment, dispute resolution, anti-corruption and transparency issues and the rule of law in the context of both regional and international trade, among other international trade law areas.
Should you have any queries, clarifications or need any advice with respect to international trade law, please do not hesitate to contact Atiq Anjarwalla, Daniel Ngumy, Luisa Cetina, or the A&K International Trade Law Team at InternationalTradeLawTeam@africalegalnetwork.com.
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