The East African Business Council Chairperson Angelina Ngalula has called upon the East African Community (EAC) bloc to boost its transactions under the regional and international trade agreements and opportunities of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Economic partnership agreement.
Statistic show intra-EAC trade is below 20 per cent, intra-African exports is 18 per cent of total exports with EAC exports to AGOA valued at $5.26 billion while EAC exports to EU stood at $2.67 billion.
Speaking during the High-Level Business Dinner in Arusha, Ngalula said that despite the agreements & opportunities East Africans have not fully utilized these agreements, as trade is still fractional due to low productive capacity, fragmentation and infrastructure challenges.
“With the AfCFTA, there are no boundaries of doing business in Africa, but the EAC bloc should be well-prepared to export competitive professional services and skills to the continent,” said Chairperson Angelina.
The Chairperson expounded that EABC will create B2B networking opportunities to boost bilateral trade ties and unlock Non-Tariff Barriers. Equity Bank has set up a USD. 7 Billion fund to support business growth and such initiatives.
On his part, John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO said EABC with support from GIZ developed a Barometer on East African Trade in Services to gauge the growth of the service sector in the EAC. He expounded that the EAC region exported services worth $12.9 billion against $933.6 million worth of imports globally in 2019.
Kalisa applauded Hon. John Vianney Mongella, Arusha Regional Commissioner and Hon. Pamela Maassay, MP East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for their partnership with the private sector on driving socio-economic growth in the EAC.
John Mongella, the Arusha Regional Commissioner reiterated the deep commitment of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania under the headship of H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan to boost investments and business growth in the EAC. Hon. Mongella promised to allocate a plot of land to the East African Business Council in recognition of its mandate of steering growth of intra-trade, investments, jobs and economic buoyancy in the EAC.