STRATEGY

Market EAC as a single investment destination, region told

States also told to address Non-Tariff Barriers to boost cross-border trade

In Summary

•The EAC member states have also been urged to harmonise Covid-19 protocols to ease movement.

•To ensure growth in the region, there is also a need for simplification of business processes and harmonization of EAC tax regimes, EABC notes.

Long distance trucks parked on the Uganda side of its border with Kenya.
Long distance trucks parked on the Uganda side of its border with Kenya.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

The East African Business Council (EABC) wants partner states to harmonise investment incentives and market the region as a single investment destination.

Speaking at a two-day virtual conference on trade and investment opportunities in East Africa beyond Covid-19, EABC chairman Nick Nesbitt said close collaboration will improve the investment climate in East Africa and unlock more investments.

"Let’s wave the flag of open markets and East Africa,"Nesbitt said.

 

During the forum that ended yesterday, it was further noted that Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) continue to hinder cross-border trade due to different measures on Covid-19 in the region.

This, the meeting said, calls for improved regional coordination and harmonisation of measures to contain the virus.

“To ensure growth in the region, there is also a need for simplification of business processes and harmonisation of EAC tax regimes,” said EABC CEO Peter Mathuki.

The conference attracted investment promotion authorities, senior government officials, industry champions, development partners and investors from the region and beyond.

 The EAC has market access to more than 177.2 million people with a combined GDP of about $200 billion(Sh22.29 trillion).

The region offers numerous investment opportunities in all sectors and has abundant resources, strategically located, sufficient human capital to support new and existing businesses, Mathuki noted.

"The level of intra-regional trade and cross-border investments is also on an upward trajectory,” he added.

Investment agencies from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda,Zanzibar, DR Congo, South Sudan, Burundi  and Ethiopia presented opportunities for FDIs into manufacturing, tourism, agriculture ,infrastructure, energy, real estate, mining and metals, oil and gas among others.