EABC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ENGAGE WITH CHIEF SECRETARY HON. AMB. JOHN KIJAZI ON VITAL EAC INTEGRATION
EABC Executive Committee engage with Chief Secretary Hon. Amb. John Kijazi on vital EAC Integration Issues.
The East African Business Council Committee Members, paid a courtesy visit to Hon. Ambassador John Kijazi, Chief Secretary, Office of the President, United Republic of Tanzania.
EABC Chairman, Mr. Audace Ndayizeye commended the EAC Heads of Summit under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli as the Chair of the Summit for the remarkable progress towards the realization of the regional integration process, noting landmarks such as reduction of road blocks along the Central Corridor, reduction of work permit fees and signing of the East African Community Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers into Trade Bill (2015), among others.
EABC Vice Chair Tanzania, Mr. Felix Mosha emphasized that affordable movement within the region can enrich the EAC Integration. He stated “There is need for common understanding on air transport in terms of how to liberalize air transport and domesticate the EAC air space ” citing that regional air ticket costs are significantly higher than international ones.
“Indeed, the Dar es Salaam port has improved” said Mr. Kassim Omar, Chairman of Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarding Association, (EABC Vice Chair, Uganda) who appreciated the efforts of the Government of Tanzania on improved port efficiency and urged the Government of Tanzania to remove the recently introduced 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) on ancillary services rendered to transit goods such as stevedoring, lashing & securing, cargo inspection, preparation of customs documentation , container handling and storage of transported goods awaiting transportation. According to Mr. Omar , though the VAT is levied on companies based in Tanzania the tax is finally transferred to the owners of the transit goods who are later supposed to pay VAT in their destination country upon arrival of goods. Mr. Omar also urged Tanzania to harmonize the preferential treatments it offers to transit goods services to encourage use of central corridor exemplifying the Rwandese transit trucks which pay USD.150 while other EAC countries pay USD.500.
Liberalization of service sector, harmonization of taxes, freer movement of workers and local content were among other burning issues brought to the attention of the Chief Secretary in a bid to advance the EAC integration Agenda.
Hon. Amb. John Kijazi urged EABC to learn and share best practices from other regional economic communities so as to deepen EAC Integration. He further promised to take up the aforementioned concerns with His Excellency Dr. John Joseph Pombe Magufuli and different levels of Government of United Republic of Tanzania.