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Traders in the East African region will soon find it easier to move goods and services

By Frankline Sunday | March 29th 2014

By Frankline Sunday

Kenya: Traders in the East African region will soon find it easier to move goods and services, following reduction of bureaucratic systems to trade.

According to the latest report from logistics firm Trade Mark East Africa; East African Community (EAC) member States have made positive steps in the integration process. The report says traders and consumers in the regional bloc will soon begin to reap the benefits of regional integration.

“There has been a lot of progress in the integration process in terms of reducing bureaucratic and procedural snags and the goals of achieving cheaper and efficient trade between the EAC member States is already being realised,” said Trademark East Africa Chief Executive Frank Matsaret.

“For example, increased revenue resulting from streamlined tax gathering is already being transferred to Burundi residents in terms of public funding towards health and education projects,” he explained.

Burundi has also been able to conduct business reforms that have seen the country’s economy jump 13 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business index.

Matsaret was speaking at the launch of Trademark East Africa’s second report that highlighted the gains registered so far in the integration process and the challenges faced.

“Farmers in Kenya can now access wider markets in the European Union through uniform standards and good practices while cross-border traders in Rwanda and Tanzania have also been encouraged to get on board and be part of the common market,” he stated.

He however noted that the region is yet to remove key obstacles that slow down entrepreneurship in the block, casting doubt on the possibility of full regional integration by 2015.      

A recent World Bank report on the ease of doing business in the East African block indicates that despite several moves to institute reforms in business and governance, investors still face barriers that limit investment.

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