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DRC membership in EAC to benefit Tanzania-Economists

ECONOMISTS and Congolese traders yesterday said that Tanzania would benefit more in business and investment opportunities once the Kinshasa government’s bid to join the East African Community (EAC) bloc goes well.

Their remarks came barely a week after the ‘Daily News’ published a story that the regional bloc would discuss the DR Congo request during the forthcoming 21st Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Heads of State Summit later this year.

President of the Business Congolese International (BCI), Mr Mukendi Kabobu Godefroid, said that there are vast business opportunities his fellow citizens are yet to bring onboard given the green light to join the regional bloc.

DR Congo is a landlocked country that relies on its neighbour particularly Tanzania on land transport to export and import its goods through Dar es Salaam Port.

“We see more opportunities in Tanzania that would result once increased interaction of people is guaranteed in the EAC bloc, unlike now when the two countries have visa payments.

More Congolese investors would come to Tanzania,” he said. However, the Open University of Tanzania Senior Lecturer (Economics) Dr Hildebrand Shayo told this paper yesterday that the new move of six total member States in the regional bloc would further widened the market.

“With the ongoing Tanzania’s initiatives towards industrial economy, many factories would be guaranteed more market because the Congolese would buy manufactured products from Tanzania,” pointed out Dr Shayo.

In another development, the don said that the government’s move to upgrade the central railway by constructing the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) would further attracts the Congolese importers and mineral dealers from the country to Tanzania to export their wares.

Commenting, Mr Rahim Dossa, a board member of the Tanzania Track Owners Association (TATOA), said that the country joining the EAC would bring more business to the region.

“70 per cent of the cargo we transport to and from the Dar es Salaam Port belong to the Congolese, hence, we hope that if the country joins the bloc, we will get more of them,” he added, arguing that the move would be possible because the Kinshasa traders know very well trade agreements with Tanzania, a member of the bloc.

However, he urged Tanzanians to ensure that they benefit from the trade agreements DR Congo would make in the regional bloc.

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Author: BERNARD LUGONGO

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