The East African Community (EAC) is working on Trade and Investment Portals to enable investors access information on investment opportunities and projects online.
This was revealed by the regional body’s Secretary General, Amb Liberat Mfumukeko while receiving the credentials of the Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Anders Sjöberg at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha recently.
Amb. Mfumukeko said European Union remained “the number one trading partner” for the EAC and urged Sweden to “support capacity building for the private sector and to link business people in Sweden and the EAC.”
Amb. Mfumukeko said the EAC was also working on the development of the financial sector and integration of capital markets in the region.
The SG further said work on the Constitution of the proposed East African Political Confederation had started with EAC Partner States nominating constitutional experts to the EAC Secretariat.
He said the EAC integration process was a progressive idea which was gradually trickling down to the populace as they begin to reap the benefits.
In his remarks, Amb. Sjöberg said Sweden was directly supporting sexual reproductive health programmes in the EAC through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) while there was indirect support for the region’s financial markets and customs sector through a World Customs Organization project.
Amb. Sjöberg said Sweden was a keen supporter of free trade and export promotions worldwide since 50 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from exports.
“70 per cent of our exports are to the European Union and 30 per cent to the rest of the world,” said Amb. Sjöberg, adding that increasing trade with neighbouring countries, eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and increasing the threshold for exports will be beneficial for all countries.
The envoy said his country’s current focus was on trade facilitation, reducing NTBs and e-commerce.
Amb. Sjöberg noted that e-commerce had the potential to revolutionize trade in Africa as had been the case in Europe, North America and China.
Chimp Africa Business understands Sjoberg urged the EAC to create a conducive investment climate in the region in order to attract more investors.