Intra-regional trade within the East African Community (EAC) is on an upward trajectory standing at $10.17 billion in September 2022 according the EAC Secretariat. The intra-EAC trade, accounting for imports and exports between the seven community’s Partner States grew from 13 percent in 2019 at a value of US$7.1 billion to 15 percent in 2021 at a value of US$9.5 billion.
The EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki while addressing the media during a five-day retreat for all EAC Staff held at Maanzoni Lodge in Machakos County in Kenya, said that the increase was due to political goodwill among the Summit of EAC Heads of State and the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in the region amongst other factor.
“257 NTBs have been cumulatively resolved since 2007. This is in tandem with the bloc’s goal to increase the volumes of intra-regional trade,” said the Secretary General. By September 2022, the EAC trade value was recorded at $10.17 billion representing a 20 percent share of Intra-trade to global trade.
According to the EAC Secretary General, high-level discussions among the Heads of State had eliminated many Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) hampering intra-regional trade, EAC’s total trade with the rest of the world stood at $62 billion.
“From 1st July 2022, imports of locally available goods into the region; such as meat, furniture and textiles, have been attracting a tariff of 35 percent. The move aims at promoting local production, value addition and industrialization,” said Dr. Mathuki.
The Secretary General said that the Common External Tariff is one of the key instruments under the Customs Union pillar, which justifies regional integration through uniform treatment of goods imported from third parties.