The East African Business Council (EABC) has urged EAC partner states to conclude their collective trade agreement with the United Kingdom to avoid trade uncertainty and disruption.
The appeal was made by EABC CEO Mr. Kalisa during a courtesy visit by the UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Tanzania, John Lord Walney, to the EABC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
John Lord Walney said, UK is committed to vitalizing Aid for Trade and craft a win-win trade relationship with EAC bloc as the region is has vast endowments and opportunities. He also commended EABC under the leadership of Mr. Kalisa for applying a vital role in breaking barriers and costs to trade plus igniting economic recovery and creating prosperity in the EAC.
He further committed to steer a dialogue platform between EABC and UK businesses for mutual trade and investment benefits, while emphasizing the need to climate change mitigation.
On his part, Mr. Adrian Njau, EABC trade and policy advisor said, “EAC partner states ought to prefer Bilateral Trade Agreement (EPA) with the UK as the Everything But Arm (EBA) is on a concessional basis and a one-sided Agreement which can be suspended.”
Mr. Njau proposed that the UK’s Post Brexit Trade Deals with African Countries and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) should allow Cumulation. This, in his view, will enable African contracting parties to use originating products from other African countries to manufacture products to be exported to the UK under preferential arrangements.
He explained that the aforementioned will enhance the African integration Agenda and the African Continental Free Trade Area.