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Rwanda joins EAC Customs Union

14
Jul '09
Rwanda has joined formally the East African Community (EAC) Customs Union with the Kigali officials, saying that in order to compete with the economic giants of the region favorably; some preventive measures have already been set up in the country.

As the goods from member states are now duty-free, the union will offer lower prices. EAC also planned to enhance the economic cooperation between the new as well as the other members of EAC such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.

The intra-EAC trade has witnessed a growth of about 40 percent from 2004. Merger of Rwanda with Burundi enlarges the market size with the population of 120 million people and the combined GDP of around $60 billion.

The large economic region carries certain meaning, only if it is an integrated market with production, investment and trade linkage, said the Director General Customs and Trade EAC, Mr. Peter Kiguta.

The country has commenced implementing a three-band common external tariff (CET) structure. In this structure the raw materials and the capital goods are zero-rated while the intermediate goods attract 10 percent and finished goods draw 25 percent tax.

The CET structure is framed to promote industrialization in the region by reducing the production cost and by cushioning local manufacturers against cheaper imports and counterfeits.

In this regard the Prime Minister, Mr. Bernard Makuza said that expansion of the customs union is an achievement which will make Rwandans take pride on the country's integration efforts.

PM further added that it is contradictory to the belief that the customs union would affect the economies of the partner states in negative sense in terms of revenue erosion and competitiveness.

Rwanda will cater the necessary support and environment to the community, in order to flourish their business and to boost the economy, he added.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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