The East African Business Council (EABC) has urged for lowering and harmonisation of Covid-19 related charges in the East African Community (EAC) to ease the cost of doing business and boost intra-EAC trade.
EABC chief executive Peter Mathuki says whereas Tanzania and Burundi are charging a standard rate of $100 (Sh10,960) for both nationals and foreigners, other partner States’ charges vary.
Mathuki said this had turned out to be another form of a Non-tariff Barrier (NTB) preventing a rebound of cross-border regional trade.
The regional partner states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda have also not established a common quarantine period in the region, resulting in delays for test results.
“The EAC Secretariat should fast track regional coordination and harmonisation of measures on Covid-19 for economic resilience and growth of the EAC bloc,” said Peter Mathuki, the EABC chief executive.
Different preventive and restrictive measures undertaken by EAC Partner States to control the spread of Covid-19 have significantly slowed down trade, movement of persons and integration.
Mathuki said that reduction and harmonisation of Covid-19 related NTBs will enable businesses to tap into the opportunities availed by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).