An Extra-Ordinary Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) has kicked off at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The three-day meeting started with the Session of Senior Officials which ends today and will be followed by the Session of Permanent/Principal Secretaries/Undersecretaries which will take place today (8th February, 2018).
Among the items on the agenda of the Extra-Ordinary SCTIFI are the: Deliberation on the long standing Non-Tariff Barriers to trade; Consideration of the two positions of ad valorem of 35% and specific duty rate of tariffs for used clothing under AGOA Out of Cycle Review, and; Consideration of the Update on EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Project (MARKUP).
During his state of EAC address, Uganda’s president and the current chair of the Heads of state summit Yoweri Kaguta Museveni emphasised the need to phase out NTBs in the region and called for the swift address of challenges the region was facing.
“To this effect, we should continue to address challenges in order to secure EAC’s future for posterity. Some of the areas include stamping out the NTBs and the need to enhance free movement of goods, labour and services. We need to venture into new areas of integration and consolidate those we have agreed upon. We have to play special attention to areas that have impact to our young people notably one education area and equal fees”, he said.
Last year, the (non-tariff barriers) NTBs Act, 2015 was assented by all the Partner States and regulations to operationalize it were developed.
Also on the agenda of the meeting are the: Consideration of the EAC Trade and Investment Report 2016, and; adoption of the One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) Manual.
The meeting is being attended by delegates from all the six Partner States and officials from the EAC Secretariat.
The meeting will conclude with the Session of Ministers or Cabinet Secretaries on Friday, 9th February, 2018.