Value of goods exported from the East African Region to the European Union has grown to reach USD 2.6 Billion and counting.
That came to light during the visit by the Envoy of the European Union (EU) to Tanzania and the East African Community (EAC) Ambassador Manfredo Fanti, to the East African Business Council in Arusha.
Ambassador Fanti paid a courtesy visit to the East African Business Council to address the state of trade in the East African Community and strategies to boost business and investment ties between the EAC and the European Union.
Chief Executive Officer of the EABC John Bosco Kalisa said in 2020, EU exports to the EAC stood at USD 4.5 billion while imports were USD 2.6 billion.
In total, the trade between two blocs currently stands at USD 7.1 Billion. It was a remarkable growth from the previous year.
During that period the EAC Member States were just six, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan. This year the membership increased to seven with DR Congo joining the fold.
In 2019, EAC exports to the EU stood at USD 2.3 billion while imports were recorded at USD 4.29 billion.
Top exports from the East African Community to the European Union include coffee, tea, flowers, tobacco, vegetable and fish. Imports from EU on the other hand, are Machinery, Electrical Equipment, Pharmaceutical and Motor Vehicles.
“EABC is committed to deepening trade integration and creating prosperity for East African by eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers to cross border business,” Kalisa, assured.
On his part, Ambassador Manfredo Fanti said that predictable, legal and administrative frameworks in the EAC Member States may help to lure more European investors into the trading bloc.
Intra-EAC trade has exhibited resilience against COVID-19 and new global dynamics of conflict and climate change according to experts.
The fact that the Democratic Republic of Congo recently also joined the EAC, industrialization base of the region has now been expanded.