“Cheaper, Faster, and Simplified.”
Trade might come at cheaper rates for countries conducting business in the regions of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda, according to a release this week from the UNCTAD following a meeting focused on trade improvements for Africa.
The decreased rates were one of several improvements discussed between nation representatives during the meeting in Nairobi, Kenya this week. Increased speeds and the simplification of trade processes were also discussion topics in an effort to support increasing economic integration efforts for East Africa and overall trade for the entire African region.
“I feel so proud because this is an opportunity for the EAC countries, many of which are landlocked, to sell their products within the region, in Africa and across the whole world,” said Frederick Ngobi Gume, Uganda’s Minister for Cooperatives.
The release from UNCTAD highlights the affirmation of reduced regulations and “non-tariff barriers” through the implementation of trade facilitation reforms from the region representatives.
“It also gives us an opportunity to simplify the import and export of commodities. Such an approach reduces bureaucracy, with online clearances reducing contacts at the border. This initiative will go a long way to stimulate trade within the EAC and further afield,” added Gume.
The declaration guarantees support for the National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs) as the leading tool for coordinating efforts in trade facilitation.
“UNCTAD has supported the institutional architecture of trade facilitation in the East Africa region for many years,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said. “For example, we have helped launch trade portals, which simplify trade procedures and reduce the time and cost of trade transactions in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda – and soon in Tanzania.”