The Executive Director of East African Business Council, Peter Mathuki said here. He howeve,r pointed out that, despite the improvement, the region’s ease of doing trade between member states was still a far cry from the likes of South African Development Community (SADC), with 48 per cent.
Removal of a number of non-tariffs trade barriers were cited as among the reasons that business between the six EAC member states was improving rapidly.
“We are optimistic that the heads of state ’ summit taking place in Arusha will further iron out other problems affecting smooth flow of goods and capital within the region,” said Mathuki.
The East African Community, which fashioned its regional cooperation strategy from the European Union, was found to be faring badly, when compared to its prototype, the EU which boasts 68 per cent and counting, despite a number of stumbling blocks.
Meanwhile, the East African Business Council, which marks 20 years of its operations, has decided to inch near city centre, relocating its regional headquarters from the former Kijenge area base into the metropolitan vicinity at the Mafao House on the banks of River Themi.
According to Patrick Moshi, the EABC communications officer, the East African business Centre secretariat has been re-branded and relocated to a new more corporate environment and much closer to the East African Community (EAC) headquarters.
“This should be regarded as one of the steps of repositioning the EABC to undertake its mandate as the voice and advocacy platform for the private sector in East Africa and the focal point for private sector engagement with the EAC,” stated Nick Nesbitt, the EABC chairman who was joined by Dr Ali Kivejinja, the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers during the official launch of the new office.
As of now, the new EABC secretariat offices will be located on the 9th floor at the NSSF-Mafao House, just across the river from the ‘Four Points – By Sheraton,’ hotel, the former ‘New Arusha,’ and across the road from the diocese of Kilimanjaro’s Anglican Cathedral.
Other concerns raised during the event was the issue of security in the region, where stakeholders advised that each business entity and all metropolitan precincts should be fixed with surveillance CCTV cameras, to reinforce safety among residents, clients and business persons.