8 August 2012

East Africa: TCCIA Pushes for Beneficial EAC

Arusha — TANZANIA Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) has asked Tanzanians to join hands towards ensuring that manufacturing and processing sectors in the country benefit out of the East African Community Common Market Protocol (EACCMP).

TCCIA Arusha Chairperson Adolf Olomi said here yesterday that despite the sectors' failure to benefit from the protocol so far, the country's future remains bright if stakeholders work together. "The private and public sectors should put more efforts on ensuring that the manufacturing sector, which is vital for national development and overall economic growth, becomes competitive," he said.

A research on EACCMP implementation with special focus on the manufacturing sector on behalf of TCCIA-Arusha found out that manufacturing sector in Arusha and Tanzania in general had not benefited from EACCMP. Alpha Associates and MBD Consultants who conducted the research said ongoing data collection regarding challenges facing Tanzania business community through execution of the protocol reveals that most Tanzanian businesses lacked clear understanding of the protocols.

"The Tanzanian business community in Arusha is generally not aware of the East African Customs union protocol which is the entry point of the Common Market protocol, as well as the East African Common Market protocol itself. It's very difficult for a person to realize benefit from unknown thing," commented the consultants.

They said Internal Tariffs elimination for Tanzanian products as provided in ACT and other charges of equivalent effects was done progressively under the principle of asymmetry, "The elimination of internal tariffs started in 2005 through 2009 when the customs union was fully implemented."

Unfortunately, the economic imbalances is still huge with manufacturing Industries like East African General tyres and Kilimanjaro machinery tool not operating contrary to expectation before the transition period elapsed, he said. Unlike in Kenya, where banks routinely support manufacturing enterprises, it was not the case in Tanzania.

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