EAST African Community states should institute mechanisms to reduce non-tariff barriers because they are hurting trade in the region.
Bernard Bangirana, the Uganda Allied Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (UACCIA)executive director, said this would increase benefits from cross-border trade and accelerate development among member nations.
Non-tariff barriers are limitations like infrastructure, regulations and laws that impact negatively on domestic and cross-border trade.
“We will engage the private sector and our respective governments to ensure that these barriers are removed to improve trade in the region and other trading blocs in Africa,” said Bangirana.
He was addressing a regional stakeholders’ meeting organised by UACCIA and the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to find ways of boosting trade in the region last week.
Julius Onen, the trade ministry permanent secretary, called for the creation of regional synergies to remove trade barriers as they hike transaction costs. He cited transport infrastructure gaps as the leading obstacles to trade, saying they affect negatively foreign investment inflows into the region.
Bangirana said the chambers would sensitise people to deepen understanding of the regional trade systems.
like; administration of trade rules of origin, cross-boarder taxation systems, harmonisation of product standards, lobbying governments to improve transport networks as well as disseminating information about the implications of trade agreements among the business community in the East African partner states.