- EABC Set Forth Policy Priorities to boost trade ties with Burundi
Wednesday, 23rd November, 2022 Bujumbura, Burundi: The East African Business Council Chief Executive Officer Mr. John Bosco Kalisa paid a courtesy call on Dr. Catherine Faida, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce Transport, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Burundi.
In his remarks, Mr. Kalisa said “trade is the buffer for EAC’s economic resilience.”
He applauded the President of the Republic of Burundi and Rwanda for re-opening borders and boosting bilateral trade ties.
He urged the Government of the Republic of Burundi to enhance joint border committees to facilitate trade. He said EABC is committed to strengthening trade and investment cooperation between Burundi and neighboring countries.
Mr. Denis Nshimirimana, Burundi Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CFCIB) said that following the removal of sanctions by the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA), Burundi’s economic outlook is on the right path. He stated the Central Bank of Burundi last month lifted the ban on forex bureaus. These positive developments are set to ease access to forex for businesses.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Faida elaborated that public-private partnership has been central to unlocking trade barriers. Burundi imports from the EAC bloc in 2021 stood at USD. 199.8 million while exports at USD. 15 million (International Trade Centre).
She called upon EABC to champion advocacy on the elimination of Non-Tariff Barries and mutual recognition of standards to boost Burundi’s exports to the EAC bloc.
Removal of road blocs, Extension of border operating hours, Elimination of COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated visitors, Use of National ID as a travel document, Joining One Network Area for telecommunication and Adoption of EAC Single Tourist Visa, Ratification of EAC Agreement of Double Taxation Agreement, Raising awareness of the benefits of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), are among the policy issues presented by EABC to the Ministry for action.
Also in the meeting was Mr. Jean Claude Kanene, Assistant Minister of Commerce Transport Industry and Tourism.
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.