Arusha, Tanzania: 4th May, 2017, There are a lot of initiatives to improve the business environment in regard to cross border trade which the private sector is needs to be kept abreast, this was noted during EABC Regional Dialogue with senior government officials and trade facilitation agencies held on Friday, 28th April, 2017 at Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
EABC Regional Dialogue attracted over 85 business leaders from the region who urged for a Technical Meeting between Private Sector and Trade Facilitation Agencies in Kenya to be held quarter and cumulate into an Annual regional forum that reviews the progress made in facilitating intra-regional trade.
“It is of uttermost importance to measure the extent to which the EAC Partner States are translating the EAC Common Market and Customs Union Protocols into policies that support the actualization of the free movement of people and workers, goods, services, capital and the rights of establishment and residence within the EAC Partner States.” stated Ms. Lilian Awinja EABC CEO.
According to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System has reduced Transit time: Mombasa to Kampala from 6 days to 4.7 days while Mombasa to Kigali from 11 days to 5.2days. “Private sector should embrace regulations to control flow of illicit Products “said Mr. Benson Korongo, Commissioner Domestic Revenue KRA.
“There is progress in facilitating intra- regional trade however more needs to be done” said Amb. Dennis Awori, former EABC Vice Chair Kenya.
EABC Regional Dialogue enabled the business community to present key challenges they face to fully seize opportunities of the regional market. Furthermore businesses were informed on various technical regulations and requirements regarding standards & tax requirements and compliance in the Republic of Kenya particularly those that are applied to goods from the EAC region.
“Disconnection between valuation for transfer pricing and customs valuation in KRA needs to be addressed” said Kassim Omar, EABC Vice Chair Uganda citing one the challenges business community face.
“EABC was started to galvanize East Africa Trade” noted Dr. Manu Chandaria, Chairman Comcraft Group.
“The quarterly technical meeting with trade facilitation agencies will enable businesses to cross check the level of implementation different policies in bid to make doing business in EAC much easier” said Ms Lilian Awinja EABC CEO.