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Zanzibar President urges East African countries to increase regional trade

London, (The Southern African Times) – Zanzibar’s President Hussein Ali Mwinyi appealed to member states of the East African Community (EAC) to increase regional trade in order to promote economic prosperity in the region and across the continent.

Mwinyi made the comments during a meeting with an EAC delegation led by its secretary-general Peter Mathuki.

Mwinyi lamented the fact that member states and African countries, in general, tended to trade more with countries in other continents while trade amongst them was significantly low in comparison.

Mwinyi appealed to the regional bloc to resolve the issue of non-tariff barriers as well as disputes between national standards bodies that certify goods for export across the region.

According to Mwinyi, a significant barrier to the free movement of goods was an insistence on retesting import goods already certified in member states. Mwinyi urged the bloc to push for certification standards to be harmonised across the region to prevent such incidents.

Mwinyi also urged the EAC to extend regional infrastructure development projects to link Zanzibar to other member states, particularly in the development of ports and marine transport.

On his part, Mathuki reassured Mwinyi that the EAC Secretariat was working to put in place a Trade Remedies Committee to continually address non-tariff barriers and ease doing business in the region.

Quality marks on intra-EAC imports should be recognised throughout the region, he added.

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