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EAC Secretary General promises to increase intra-regional trade from 20% to 50% in the next five years

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 13th May, 2021; The EAC Secretary General, Hon (Dr.) Peter Mathuki has promised the business community in the region that he will do everything within his power to address the vice of Non-Tariff Barriers to trade and trade wars, and work towards raising the volume of intra-regional trade from the current level of below 20% to more than 50% over the next five years. 

“I pledge to work hand in hand with all stakeholders in private and public sector to make sure that we remove NTBs in real time. It cannot be business as usual but rather a need for unity of purpose – working collectively between private and public sector as a team to serve the great people of East Africa”, added the Secretary General. 

Addressing the private sector community during a CEO’s Breakfast Roundtable meeting organized by the East African Business Council (EABC) in Kampala, Uganda, Dr. Mathuki highlighted different areas that will help increase intra-region trade including; review of Common External Tariff (CET) on imports into the region; accelerating the harmonization of domestic taxes; fast tracking domestication of the EAC Common Market Protocol commitments and promotion of investment and value addition across the region in industrialization particularly agro-processing. 

In addition, Dr. Mathuki pledged to involve the private sector in infrastructure development through Private-Public Partnerships (PPPs), an approach that is expected to significantly reduce the national debt burden in the region.  

Further, he promised to work with Partner States to establish ways to reduce the high-energy costs in order to improve EAC’s attractiveness as an investment destination. 

On his part, Mr. Gideon Badagawa, Chairman, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), urged the Secretary General to help coordinate finalization of the amendments of the EAC Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers Act, 2017 as well as the launching of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism by the operationalizing the EAC Trade Remedies Committee. 

Mr. Badagawa called upon the EAC Secretariat to initiate the amendment of some of the provisions of the EAC Common Market Protocol (CMP) to give effect to the Regulations on Free Movement of Services and Service Suppliers, the Mechanism for the Removal of Restrictions on Trade in Services and Revised Schedules of Commitments on Progressive Liberalization of Services. 

The Breakfast Roundtable meeting was organized by EABC, in order to have an engagement with the leadership of the EAC Secretariat with the aim of enhancing collaboration between the regional private sector and the Policy making organization that is mandated with facilitating economic integration of the region. 

During the meeting the private sector presented policy priorities that are meant to improve the business environment through reduction in the cost of doing business, policy reforms, improve competitiveness of regional products against those from outside e.g Africa Continental Free Trade Areas (AfCFTA) market and overall, increase intra EAC trade and investment. 

For more information, please contact:

Simon Peter Owaka
Senior Public Relations Officer
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 768 552087
Email: sowaka [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2015 Certified

East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org