25th June 2019
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Press statement on EAC pre-budget reading for fiscal year 2019/2020

Author : Margaret Lole | Published: 3 weeks ago

The EAC Partner States will unveil their Budgets for the Fiscal Year 2019/2020  in June 2019, after holding a Pre-budget meeting of Ministers of Finance, to agree on fiscal and tax issues.

The East African Business Council urges the EAC Partner States to unveil a budget that will lower cost of doing business in the region in a bid to promote local manufacturing, regional value chains, and creation of employment opportunities.

According to the East African Business Council press statement, in 2018, real GDP in East Africa grew by an estimated 5.7 percent, slightly less than the 5.9 percent in 2017. Although the EAC has one of the highest-share of intra-regional trade among the major RECs in Africa, the share of intra-EAC exports have dropped from 20.9% in 2013 to as low as 15.9% in 2015.

In 2017, the region recovered from a lower share of 16.5% in 2016 to 19.7% in 2017 that according to the WTOTrade Policy Review Body,2019.

The statement also said that to enhance revenue collection, the EAC Partner States budgets should focus more on efficient and effective service delivery for the growth and expansion of businesses within the EAC and beyond.

The EABC also urges for adequate budgetary allocation of resources for the implementation and monitoring of the EAC Common Market Protocol and support to National Implementation Committees and related activities.

In summary, the EAC Partner States Budgets for the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 will  prioritize  and be geared to achieving the vision of the EAC Industrialization Policy/Strategy.

The EAC Partner States Budgets for the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 will focus on addressing the following key challenges of the EAC regional integration.

  • The high cost of doing business (High costs of electricity, transport and logistics as well as the cost of borrowing.
  • Budgetary allocations by EAC Partner States for the implementation and monitoring of the Common Protocol and Customs Union protocols
  • Emphasis on increasing intra-EAC Trade through the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers.
  • Improving trade facilitation
  • Fast track the finalization of the EAC Common External Tariff to avoid trade distortions
  • Elimination of work permit  fees and restrictions for East Africans
  • Mechanisms to enhance Public-Private Dialogues for Trade and Investment.

 

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