East African Business Council (EABC) Chairperson Angelina Ngalula has appealed to Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs to champion the harmonization of domestic taxes in EAC.
She also asked Kadaga to advocate for liberalisation of air transport services, Activation of the EAC Remedies and disputes settlement mechanism, Harmonization of product standards, and Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and EAC Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) Charter.
This was during the EABC Round Table Engagement on the EAC Regional Integration Agenda where the Chief Guest, kadaga officially inaugurated the newly appointed EABC Goodwill Ambassadors from Uganda namely: Mr. Jim Mwine Kabeho, Dr. Merian Sebunya, Ms. Olive Kigongo and Mr. Charles Kareba.
In her address, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga called upon EABC to support women cross-border traders and SMEs raising their awareness about trade procedures and opportunities in the EAC bloc.
She stated that founding members of the EAC should set the pace by implementing agreed upon commitments such as the One Network Area for telecommunication among others.
She elaborated that she is optimistic that the Republic of South Sudan will implement EAC protocols and commitments as rapporteurs of the Community, such as the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
Rt. Hon. Kadaga reiterated her commitment to championing the elimination of non-tariff barriers and explained intra-trade will grow higher this year following Kenya’s lift of import bans on eggs and milk from Uganda and the re-opening of Rwanda-Burundi borders among other progressive developments.
In his remarks, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, CEO of EABC said intra-EAC trade had registered positive growth despite global shocks.
Mr. Kalisa commended the Kadaga for her deep commitment to steer intra-EAC trade growth and for solving the Non-Tariff Barrier on rice imports from Tanzania into Uganda.
Rt. Hon. Kadaga also called upon the private sector to champion the political confederation and advocate for the abolition of trade barriers in order to create wealth and prosperity for citizens.
She pledged to inquire about the operationalization of the EAC trade remedies committee in the upcoming meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers.
EABC Chairperson Angelina appreciated the Government of the Republic of Uganda under the remarkable leadership of H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for steering higher the EAC and Continental integration agenda such as the bilateral trade opportunities Tanzania –Uganda oil project and re-opening up of borders.
The East African Business Council (EABC) is the regional apex body of Private Sector associations and corporates in the East Africa with a single purpose of driving the East African Community integration process through trade and investment. To achieve this EABC works with the public sector, East African Community (EAC) institutions, the academia, and the business community to unlock economic potential through increased physical access to markets, enhanced trade environment and improved business competitiveness.