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Tanzanian president cautions over East African sugar imports

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli has urged regional leaders to guard against excessive sugar imports in the East African region, warning that the imports were killing local industries and stifling employment opportunities.

A State House statement said Magufuli sounded the caution while meeting visiting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Dar es Salaam of Tanzania.

Magufuli said he had discussed the matter with Museveni, noting that the leaders must tackle the issue of illicit sugar and smuggling.

Magufuli’s comments came shortly after Tanzania denied entry of 600 tonnes of Ugandan sugar into the country and demanded that the importer should pay taxes of 25 percent contrary to the East African Community Customs Union protocol.

"Our people met and discussed this. We should decide whether we need to grow our industries or becoming dumping grounds," he said.

A Ugandan delegation last month met with their Tanzanian counterparts at the border town of Mutukula.


Tanzania and Uganda leaders agree to boost trade

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Thursday agreed to work together in strengthening trade and protecting local industries in the two neighboring countries.

Speaking in the Tanzanian commercial capital Dar es Salaam, the two leaders pledged to control illegal imports of key commodities into the East African Community (EAC) member states of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

They said it was high time the two countries invest more in improving and facilitating trade activities to stimulate development.

Museveni was on an official tour in Tanzania where he delivered a report of the BRICS summit held last month in South Africa and how investors from various parts of the world could grab investment opportunities available in East Africa.

Museveni said Uganda maintained sound diplomatic and trade ties with Tanzania and the two countries were eager to boost trade and investments in various sectors including energy, infrastructure, oil and gas.

Museveni applauded Tanzania for launching train cargo service to Uganda through Lake Victoria ports of Mwanza and Port Bell in Uganda.

The train connects the ports of Dar es Salaam to Uganda through Tabora and Isaka in western Tanzania, then Mwanza port by ships.

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa urges East African
Community to liberalize trade services to spur manufacturing sector

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 sectors.

"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 Sudan.

Karingi called for the partners of the trading bloc to amend their national laws so that they permit free movement of professionals across the region.

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 region.



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