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CRN
Friday, November 29, 2019 - 09:28
The East African Business Council or EABC on Thursday commemorated 20 years of EAC regional addition in Arusha, Tanzania under the theme: “Private sector-driven regional integration for increased intra-EAC trade and investments”.
 
The event attracted 500 participants including the EAC Council of Ministers, East African Legislative Assembly captains of industry, investors, development partners, academia, among others.
 
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the EABC Chair Nick Nesbitt said the regional Private Sector has witnessed a remarkable transformation with great achievements for the last 20 years.
 
He cited a common external tariff roll out of a single customs territory, introduction of the electronic cargo tracking system, construction of the one stop border posts, and simplified trade regime for goods.
 
Nesbitt urged private sector to advocate for formulation, implementation, review policies and regional laws to improve the business and investment environment. 
 
“Let us engage in conversations about the future of East Africa business because if it’s not us, who will?” he asked.
 
EABC Chief Executive Officer Peter Mathuki said EAC is one of Africa's fastest growing regional blocs and there is need to make it investment destination for Africa.
 
“We need to come up with policies that will increase Intra-EAC-trade from 12 percent to about 40 percent”, he stressed.
 
Tanzania Foreign Minister Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi on behalf of President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli encouraged participants to learn from Germany, Netherlands and EU on free movement of labour.
 
He also emphasized on the role of the private sector in driving growth and the contributing to the regional integration agenda.
 
“Participation of the private sector in regional integration is not a choice but a necessity”, said Kabudi.
 
EAC Council of Ministers Chairperson Vincent Biruta commended EABC for representing the interests of the private sector in influencing policies that improve the business environment in the region.
 
“This year, the economic growth stands at 5.9 percent and we estimate it to grow by 6.1 percent in 2020”, he noted.
 

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