Friday, 26 July 2013

EAC domestic industrial sector needs a new lease of life – Sezibera


The EAC Secretary General Ambassador  Richard Sezibera has said that the EAC Manufacturing sector to prosper, there is need for all the stakeholders – including governments and private sector players to work on ways of giving the domestic industrial sector a new lease of life.

Sezibera said this duringthe EAC Secretary General’s Manufacturers’ Forum was held in Kampala on Monday.

The East African Business Council in partnership with Trade Mark East Africa and EAC Secretariat hosted the Forum that was attended by Members of the East African Business Council, Members of Uganda Manufacturing Association, and the Media.

“There is need to popularize the local products not only externally but internally as well especially now as we operationalize the East African Common Market. We need to see more campaigns towards making Ugandan products popular and more competitive in the region,” he said.

The Secretary General called upon the local manufacturers in the region to take advantage of the several opportunities popping up as the region integrates deeper especially in the areas of pharmaceuticals, beverages, vehicle parts production as well as vehicle assembly among others.

Representing Uganda Manufacturers’ Association (UMA), Sikander Lalani the Chair and Managing Director of Roofings Group, commended the East African Business Council and the EAC Secretariat for taking the lead in pushing the interests of the business community in the EAC integration.

The Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC), Mr. Andrew Luzze urged the Ministries, Government Agencies as well as the relevant Institutions to implement actions agreed upon by the Forum. He urged the private sector to open up as the region moves deeper into the integration process.

At the Forum, Uganda Manufacturers’ Association presented some of the key policy issues affecting its members requiring urgent redress at regional level. These include the Tax Remission for Exports Office (TREO).

The Manufacturers claim the Government of Kenya through the Tax Remission for Exports Office encourages local manufacturers to export their products. This is achieved by remitting duty and VAT on raw materials used in the manufacture of goods for export.

The Association asserts that Exports under the TREO scheme shouldn’t be within the EAC but outside the EAC since the region is now under the EAC Common Market and Customs Union.

The impact of the remission on duties and VAT makes Kenyan manufacturers have a high competitive edge as compared to those within the other EAC states.

Another issue is the Railway Development Levy of 1.5 percent for all imports through Kenya introduced by the Government in the 2013/14 National budget for the development of the Kenyan railway network but is being paid by all States and importers using the Mombasa Port or transiting through Kenya.

UMA says that this was unfair, as the rail development won’t be implemented in all EAC Partner States and other users like South Sudan and Eastern DR Congo who are all paying the levy.

A case was raised on Multiple Weighbridges in Kenya. Till now, these were delaying the transit transport times when plying through Kenya as well as failing to comply with the EAC agreed position of the use of Gross weight as against Axle weight.

A lot of time is spent on the delays at weighbridges, which haven’t solved the problem due to the continued corruption at the bridges.

The next EAC Secretary General’s Manufacturers’ Forum is scheduled to be held in Nairobi, Kenya on August 26, 2013 and in Kigali, on September 6, 2013.

Source :

EAC domestic industrial sector needs a new lease of life – Sezibera


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