Kagame discusses intra-regional trade, integration with East African Business Council

By IGIHE
On 17 September 2019 at 01:11

President Paul Kagame yesterday met with 17 members of the East African Business Council (EABC) led by Chairman Nicholas Nesbitt with whom they discussed challenges affecting trade within the region and how to address them.

Non-tariff barriers, reduction of the high transport costs of cargo by air and how telecommunications can promote regional trade and integration were among issues that dominated the discussions.

Speaking to journalists following the meet with Kagame, Nesbitt said that discussions were fruitful because President Kagame promised support to conduct advocacy on issues affecting trade in the East African Community.

EAC was established 20 years ago with the core objective of promoting regional integration to reduce barriers impeding trade and free movements.

Today, EAC intra trade is rated at 12% while intra trade within the European Union stands at 70 % and 40 % among Southern Africa countries.

Nesbitt said that trade within EAC can’t progress without removing barriers.

He highlighted that opening airspace and reducing air transport and telecommunication prices were major topics of discussions.

“We discussed opening airspace to reduce air transport costs. We also spoke about the high cost of telecommunications within EAC. We want to have one communication platform making it easier for citizens to exchange information when they move from one country to another,” he said.

Political issues affecting trade and free movements were among other points of discussion.

On political turbulence between Rwanda and Uganda, Kagame told them that both countries are holding discussions to bring back the situation to normal and urged them not to get discouraged.

EAC comprises of 6 member states with a population of of146 million people.
Kagame is the incumbent chairman of EAC.

President Paul Kagame met with 17 members of the East African Business Council (EABC) led by Chairman Nicholas Nesbitt
Kagame is the incumbent chairman of EAC.
EAC comprises of 6 member states with a population of of 146 million people.
Nesbitt said that opening airspace and reducing air transport and telecommunication prices were major topic of discussions.

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