NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
(UNECA) on Monday urged the East African Community (EAC) to
liberalize trade in professional services in order to spur
growth of the manufacturing sector.
Stephen Karingi, the
Director of Capacity Development Division at UNECA, told Xinhua
in Nairobi that the region’s manufacturing sector is not as
competitive as it should be due to relatively high cost of
services including in the insurance, legal, logistic and finance
“There is empirical
evidence that efficiency gains occurs when markets are opened
up. The EAC will further its industrialization agenda if it can
access cheaper services from a liberalized market,” Karingi said
on the sidelines of the Fifth Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA) Annual Research Forum.
EAC member states
includes Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South
Karingi called for
the partners of the trading bloc to amend their national laws so
that they permit free movement of professionals across the
He said that the
region has already signed the EAC Common Market Protocol which
calls for free movement of capital and labor but implementation
has not been completed.
Karingi said that
for every manufactured good, there is an element of services
input which must be procured at a competitive cost in order for
merchandise to compete regionally and globally.
He noted that the
EAC is one of the most integrated regions in the continent.
He observed that
intra-EAC trade has been increasing primarily because Uganda and
Tanzania have been increasing their exports to the rest of the