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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Rwanda and Kenya leaders urge African nations to open borders

Monday, October 20, 2014 > 11:37:58

(Globe & Mail)

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta have urged the East African Community (EAC) Partner States to open up their borders to ease movement of people and increase trade.

The duo was Thursday speaking at the 6th East African Business Summit (EABS) in Kigali.

The country, Kagame said, was better off in the East African Community integration owing to the enormous benefits it has enjoyed over the past seven years.

He urged countries to move faster to achieve prosperity; saying all the building blocks were in place.

"Let us move as faster as we can, because the more we bring resources together the more we will integrate. We are not yet where we want to be and therefore must do everything within our means so that we get where we want to be," the Rwandan leader said.

The two-day summit which closes on Friday was organized under the theme "regional economic development for inclusive growth," and drew more than 100 top regional business people.

Kenyatta said though some people are skeptic about integration thinking they are protecting their national interests being East African supersedes being from any individual country.

He noted that Africa would not be able to achieve its social- economic objective unless it was self-driven.

According to Kenyatta, the region has been focusing much on production of raw materials without knowing that it is actually exporting jobs though raw materials exportation.

"We must partner and work together to develop as a region," he said.

EAC’s Secretary General Richard Sezibera said there is need to expand the circle of opportunities around the region so as to create more job opportunities and enhance trade.

Barriers to cross-border, the movement of capital are coming down, he said, noting that payment systems expected to fast track trade have been launched, and with the Common External Tariff and Single Customs Territory in place, the remaining trade barriers can be dealt with.

Investors cited high electricity tariffs, interest rates, and disharmonized tax regimes among the challenges which affect inclusive growth across the region.

Last week, Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda launched the construction of the standard gauge railway line in Kampala. Statistics indicate that intra-regional trade grew from 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 to 5.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 while total trade between EAC partner states accounts for only 12 percent.

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