EAC sets targets ahead of merger talks with Comesa
Rwandan EAC minister Monique Mukaruliza, Dr Enos Bukuku (centre), the EAC deputy secretary-general, and Uganda’s EAC affairs permanent secretary Edith Mwanje with a copy of ‘Doing Business in the East African Community 2013 Report’ during its launch at Serena Hotel in Kigali last Thursday. Negotiations on the planned merger of three regional market blocs enter a make-or-break phase next week as member countries table their policy demands on areas such as customs procedures and rule of origin. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) have since 2008 been negotiating a road map to merge into a free trade area covering more than 527 million people and a GDP of about $624 billion.
The Kigali talks are on customs procedures, Rule of Origin (ROO) and sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS). “The talks are particularly crucial for EAC because we are already a customs territory unlike others who are still in the lower categories of integration.
We must prepare in advance to guard the gains made,” Mark Ogot, a senior assistant director at the East African Community Affairs, Commerce and Tourism ministry said.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business Daily Africa