EAC set to promote trade, investment

THE Members of the East African Community (EAC) have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in trade and investment to promote trade and strengthen competition in the world market.

Speaking to journalists over the weekend immediately after participating in the Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) in Arusha, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr Exaud Kigahe said they also agreed to cooperate with other communities.

“Apart from cooperation, member countries have agreed to help the private sector grow by removing trade barriers including tax and non-tax barriers as well as improving infrastructure in border areas to strengthen the sector which has an important role in the development of the EAC economy,” said Mr Kigahe.

In addition, Mr Kigahe said other agreements are to ensure that the businesses are done fairly.

“That is why we have the Fair Competition Commission (FCC) which ensures that businesses in the country and from our fellow countries do business freely and fairly.

We also encourage the quality of our goods to enable us to compete in the market where we use Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to make sure no item or goods enter the market in low quality. All products produced and sold in the EAC are based on quality,” he said.

Mr Kigahe said that Tanzania expects to sell more products abroad this year 2024/2025 due to the large investment made in the agricultural sector which is expected to increase crop production and thus stimulate exports.

On his part the Chairman of the meeting who is also a South Sudan Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr William Anyuon Kuol said along with other things that were discussed, the will gave priority to the private sector.

Mr Kuol said the private sector which starts with small and large entrepreneurs should be given strength in the areas of industry and investment.

The 43rd Sectoral Council is expected to consider among others, regional assessment on the Single Customs Territory achievements, challenge, progress made in sharing of electronic certificate of origin and status report on the implementation of the electronic cargo tracking system.

The decisions of the meeting will reach the heads of state of the East African Community for decision making. The meeting was attended by Member States of the EAC from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC Congo and South Sudan and was led by South Sudan as Chairman.

The Tanzanian delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TANTRADE), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), TBS and FCC.

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