The Board of the East African Business Council during its 84th meeting outlined priorities set to boost intra-EAC trade and investments in the region.
During the 84th EABC Board Meeting, the Chairperson of EABC . Angelina Ngalula lauded the EABC Secretariat for championing the adoption of 35% as the 4th band of East African Community (EAC) Common External Tariff by EAC Partner States which will promote industrialization.
Ngalula stated that the Board is steadfast in steering high-level policy advocacy through dialogue with the EAC Heads of State to unlock Nontariff Barriers, restrictions to free movement of services, double taxation, open skies, telecommunications and infrastructure development in order to boost intra-EAC trade and economic resilience amid the global crisis.
Half of the countries in the Eastern Africa sub-region are net food importers thus extremely vulnerable to higher global food and energy prices, rising inflation and food insecurity in the EAC bloc.
According to FAO (2022), Global Food Price index of cereals, meat, and dairy rose by 26%.
The Board urged the EAC Council of Ministers to fast track finalization of the Regional Local Content Policy and Ratification of Article 24(2) of the Protocol on the Establishment of the Customs Union to operationalize the Trade Remedies Committee to handle disputes on trade-related matters as outline in the resolutions of the High Level Summit on Common Market Protocol.
The EABC Board Commended
the EAC Secretary General for leading the EAC trade mission to Democratic Republic of the Congo and directed the EABC Secretariat to cement further partnerships the Federation of Enterprises of the Congo (FEC) to boost trade ties.
The Board called for full inclusion of private sector proposals in to the negotiations of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and the African Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) via the African Tripartite Business Council composed of COMESA-SADC and EABC.
In the meeting, the Board appreciated Development partner’s such as Trademark East Africa (TMEA), the German Development Cooperation led by GIZ – Support East African Market Driven and People-Centered Integration (SEAMPEC) Project, GIZ-Business Scouts, International Trade Centre (ITC), Afreximbank, Coca-Cola and Equity Bank for their continued partnership and support to East African Business Council.