Sunday, 5th June 2022 Arusha, Tanzania: – Speaking during the courtesy visit to East African Business Council Secretariat in Arusha Hon. Christopher Nduwayo, (MP), Chairperson of East African Legislative Assembly(EALA) Communication Trade & Investment said “EALA is committed to formulating business-centric laws to spur intra-EAC trade and investments.”
Members of EALA Communication Trade & Investment visited EABC to get the status update on business perspectives on the implementation of the treaty, and complaints of non-compliance in facilitating the objectives of the EAC protocols.
In his presentation to the parliamentarians, Mr. Adrian Njau, Policy and Trade advisor representing EABC CEO John Bosco Kalisa, applauded the EAC Partner State for adopting 35% tariff as the 4th band of the EAC Common External Tariff a move set to boost regional value chains and industrialization.
Mr. Adrian Njau expounded tax distortions impede the free movement of goods, services, service suppliers, labor and capital and urged the MPs to champion ratification of the ‘EAC Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income’ in a bid to reduce the cost of doing business and lure more investments.
Mr. Njau stated that Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) stifle intra-EAC trade and arise from protectionist measures by Partner States.
He explained that overdue operationalization of the EAC Trade Remedies Committee tasked to handle matters relating to the application of Rules of Origin and trade disputes, anti-dumping measures, subsidies and countervailing measures, safeguard measures has aggravated the problem of resolving NTBs in the region.
On the positive side, EAC Partner States have managed to resolve 230 NTBs by the end of February 2022.
He appealed to the MPs to oversee that the EAC Partner States finalize the amendment of the EAC Elimination of NTB Act, 2016 and its Regulations by July 2022.
On her part, Hon. Gasinzigwa Oda said, “EALA exercises legislative, oversight and representative functions on matters pertain to the EAC integration agenda.”
Harmonization of standards, Review of EAC Rules of Origin, Free movement of services, services suppliers, workers, Liberalization of air transport services, Single tourist visa, One Network Area for telecommunication, Business resilience amid Covid-19 and Fast-tracking implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are among priorities presented to the MPs.