EAC undergoes third Joint Trade Policy Review by the World Trade Organization, 20th and 22nd March, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland
East African Community Secretariat, 29th March, 2019:EAC Partner States are committed to the multilateral trading system and are therefore reviewed after every six years by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Policy Review Mechanism.
It is in this context that the EAC Partner States underwent their Third joint Trade Policy Review from 20th to 22nd March, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of the review is to achieve greater transparency in, and understanding of the EAC’s trade and trade related policies on the Customs Union and Common Market by the WTO Members and to enable a multilateral assessment of the adherence by EAC Partner States who are WTO Members, to the rules, disciplines and commitments made under the WTO Agreements.
The review covered the EAC Partner States of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania. The Republic of South Sudan was not part of the Trade Policy Review as it has not completed the WTO accession procedures.
Hon. Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry led the EAC delegation. Other heads of delegations from the Partner States were as follows: Hon. Jean Marie Niyokindi, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Burundi; Hon. Amelia Anne Kyambadde, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Uganda; Dr. Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade, Kenya, and; Dr. Edwin Paul Mhede, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Tanzania.
Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the Director General (Customs and Trade), led the delegation from the EAC Secretariat.
In preparation for the Trade Policy Review, two key reports were prepared and circulated to the WTO Members. These included the Report by the WTO Secretariat on the EAC Partner States; and the Government report prepared by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the EAC Partner States.
The large number of advance written questions and of delegations that took the floor during this meeting highlights the interest Members attach to the EAC's trade and related policies. Various WTO Members submitted over 400 questions to the EAC in advance, and additional questions were raised by some of the 33 delegations representing different WTO Members who took the floor during the review process.
These questions were focused on EAC’s economic environment, trade and investment, trade policies and practices and sectoral policies. The EAC Secretariat and Partner States will submit the responses to a few outstanding questions raised during the closing session to the WTO Secretariat in accordance with the timelines agreed upon.
In general, the WTO Members commended the EAC countries on their strong overall economic performance and the concurrent improvement in their key socio-economic indicators during the period under review.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org
About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified