Tuesday, 22nd November, 2022 Bujumbura, Burundi: The East African Business Council Chief Executive Officer Mr. John Bosco Kalisa held talks with the Deputy Commissioner General of Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) Mr. Kabura Leopold and commended the Government of the Republic of Burundi for automating customs procedures in a bid to facilitate cross border trade.
He stated that International Monetary Fund has projected Burundi’s Real Gross Domestic Product to increase by 3.3% in 2022 from 3.1% in 2021.
Burundi imports from EAC bloc in 2021 stood at USD. 199.8 million while exports at 15 million (International Trade Centre).
Mr. Antoine Muzaneza, EABC Vice Chair urged for closer partnerships between Burundi Revenue Authority and Business Associations in the co-formulation of policies and sensitization on tax and trade issues in order to drive economic growth.
The Deputy Commissioner General Mr. Kabura said Burundi Revenue Authority is committed to facilitating intra-EAC trade. He stated that the Government of Burundi is revamping the port of Bujumbura, Rumonge and Kabanga and there are plans to set up One Stop Border Post at Mugina and Ruhwa.
Mr. Kalisa urged the Government of Burundi to waive COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated passengers entering Burundi to boost tourism & trade and easing of forex bureau controls. He further called for the operationalization of Ruhwa one-stop border post to boost Burundi-Rwanda trade.
The Deputy Commissioner General committed to enhancing efficiency by solving network hitches at Gasenyi border, delays in the issuance of exit notes, easing passage of trucks carrying perishable goods and publishing the list of EAC Simplified Trade Regime to support women cross-border traders.
Burundi exporters called upon EABC to champion advocacy on mutual recognition of standards in order to boost Burundi exports to the EAC region, sensitization on double taxation and benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The EABC delegation also toured the port of Bujumbura and discussed areas of partnership with Global Port Services.
This high-level engagement was organized under the EABC- Trademark East Africa (TMEA) Public-Private Dialogue Project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.