Value of goods and commodities being exported from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the other East African Community countries has reached USD 50 Billion as of now.
The DR Congo joined the East African Community a few weeks ago.
According to the East African Business Council Board Director Emmanuel Nkusi, the Democratic Republic of Congo trade ties with the other East African Community Partner States increases significantly following the DRC admission into the EAC.
Nkusi made the statement while addressing a Business Meeting in Goma. DRC which was organized by the East African Business Council and the Federation of Enterprises of Congo (FEC).
In the year 2020, the EAC countries imported goods worth USD 49.2 million from the DR Congo. At the same time the EAC exported goods worth USD 584 million to Congo-Kinshasa.
At the moment, DR Congo’s main exports to EAC are wood, plants, seeds, fruits, re-melting scraps of iron or steel and Natural sands among others.
The Pre-DRC entry East African Community included, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan.
On the other hand, the EAC exports to DRC include: lime and cement, iron and steel, Tobacco, Beverages, spirits and vinegar, animal or vegetable fats and oils, wheat gluten, Sugars and confectionery, Plastics, Soap and detergents.
The President of FEC in Goma Province, Bercky Chirimwami said they are eager to build the capacity of DRC business people to ably trade under the EAC Common Market
“With the DR Congo aboard the EAC, visa fees are to be waived in addition to focused improvement of regional transport infrastructure. This is set to reduce the cost of doing business. Tanzanians and Ugandans entering DRC have been paying visa fees charged at USD 50, granting them 30 days stay in the country and vice versa.”John Bosco Kalisa – EABC Chief Executive Officer
Women cross-border traders in DR Congo have on the other hand appealed for series of training on how to export to the EAC.
The Goma One-Stop Border Post links Rwanda and DRC. In 2019 Rwanda’s exports of goods to DRC stood at USD 372.5 million while Rwanda’s imports from DRC stood at USD. 16.7 million.
Approximately 80 trucks (including transit trucks) enter DRC from Rwanda via the Goma border daily.
Three trucks cross daily from DRC to Rwanda via the Goma crossing, mainly exporting coffee, scrap metal and minerals. The Goma OSBP operates from 6:00AM-8:00PM and plans are currently underway for 24hrs operationalization.
Rwanda and DRC have a common list of goods traded under COMESA simplified trade regime, this allows SMEs to trade across the border without paying import duty.