Tuesday, 23rd September 2021 Kigali, Rwanda: – Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO paid a courtesy visit to the Private Sector Federation- Rwanda and forged a stronger partnership set to boost cross-border business operations and economic recovery resilience amid COVID-19.
In his remarks, Mr. Stephen Ruzibiza urged EABC to champion regional vaccination campaigns to build back better the economy of the EAC bloc.
Mr. Ruzibiza elaborated that the pandemic disrupted and hit hard the tourism, transport & logistics sectors increasing cost of trading and shipping costs. He said that under the new norm, businesses have to comply with COVID-19 measures and still cover fixed operating costs. He urged for trust-building among the EAC Partner States to facilitate trade and eliminate COVID-19 related NTBs.
On his part, Mr. Kalisa commended the Government of the Republic of Rwanda for vaccinating over 14.5% of the population following the robust vaccination drives.
Mr. Kalisa, said “Digitalization & e-commerce are key tools to support the trade, business continuity & economic recovery. EABC is pushing for the implementation of EAC coordinated approach on COVID-19 measures to avoid NTBs.”
Mr. Kalisa also urged for more bilateral engagements between national apex private sector associations to unlock trade barriers in order to hasten the implementation of the resolution of the recent bilateral Heads of State Visits and Engagements.
Mr. Kalisa further said that businesses should seize the benefits availed by African Continental Free Trade Area and push for its implementation.
Mr. Geoffrey Kamanzi, EABC Policy Expert elaborated on the importance of regional value chains and industrialization as the EAC bloc is set to commence trading under AfCFTA. Mr. Kamanzi, urged the PSF and Rwanda Manufacturers Association to fastrack their submission of proposed the maximum rate for the EAC Common External Tariff Review.
PSF and EABC have agreed to jointly collaborate to boost tourism& exports to improve foreign exchange, access to finance, reducing capital outflow and imports outside the EAC bloc, collective investment, priority vaccination for business persons, elimination of NTBs, open skies, harmonization of standards, trade facilitation, digitalization, ratification of the EAC Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the EABC Policy Advocacy Agenda 2022.
This meeting precedes the EABC –PSF CEO Round Table on EAC Regional Integration under the theme “Enhancing a Private Sector led Integration & Emerging Opportunities in East Africa” slated on 24th at Crown Conference Nyarutarama in Kigali.
Mr. John Bosco Kalisa
Executive Director/ CEO
East African Business Council (EABC)
9th Floor Mafao House | Old Moshi Road | Arusha | Tanzania
P. O. Box 2617 | Tel: +255 27 2520162
EABC – The Voice of the Private Sector in East Africa
About East African Business Council: The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of private sector associations and Corporates from the 6 East African countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the private sector in the integration process of the East African Community. EABC vision is a borderless East Africa for business and investment. The primary mission is to promote sustainable private sector- driven growth in the EAC.