The East African Business Council (EABC) on Tuesday decried the low level of trade among members of the East African Community (EAC).

EABC executive director Peter Mathuki told journalists in Nairobi that intra-EAC trade stands at approximately 20 percent of all trade EAC member states conduct with the rest of the world, compared to the Southern African Development Community’s rate of over 40 percent.

“The low level of intra-EAC trade is due to a number of factors including high level of non-tariff barriers among member states,” Mathuki said.

Partner states have so far resolved 47 non-tariff barriers while another 17 are still waiting to be resolved, he said.

The non-tariff barriers are a major concern for the business community as they add to their transactions costs, Mathuki said.

The EABC has also proposed that governments develop an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to address the issue of non-tariff barriers, he said.

Mathuki also noted that the region has few harmonized regional standards on most products, which contribute to additional barriers to cross-border trade. Enditem


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