EABC’s Executive Director, Peter Mathuki said the two countries’ joining of the network will also boost regional trade and integration. “I urge the policy experts to look at how the private sector can contribute to the implementation of Monetary Union among other emerging issues such as the African Continental Free Trade Area that have implications to business in the region,” Mathuki said in Arusha last week during an annual meeting.
He said that for the EAC political federation to take place all other stages of the EAC integration process should be properly and fully implemented. One Network Area, an initiative that eliminated mobile telephone roaming charges for networks in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers and lowering telecommunications costs are some of the top issues the private sector want sorted for a good business environment.
African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) bringing a larger continental market of approximately 1.2 billion people together is an opportunity for EABC to sell goods and services made in East Africa.
Adrian Njau, EABC trade and policy advisor said under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement aims at benefiting the private sector through reducing transaction costs by cutting red tape. “It also seeks to improve transparency, simplifying customs procedures for export, import and transit businesses to thrive,” Njau noted.
The policy experts also agreed to combat illicit trade in the region, fastrack the cotton textile and apparels industry, transport and logistics in addition to harmonising standards in the region.
This fiscal year, the EABC adopted the 10 percent import duty on sugar for industrial use which is an important raw material used by manufacturers. The adoption of Common External Tariff (CET) proposals on iron and steel and paper products by partner states to protect the industries from cheap imports, was also undertaken.