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Regional Trade Integration

Regional trade integration is a cornerstone of EAC Partner States’ trade policies. This involves, among other initiatives, strengthening of public institutions and private sector organizations involved in export promotion.

Market size and access

The internal EAC market has about 143.5 million consumers (EAC Facts & Figures Report (2014).

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) comprises 19 Member States with a population of over 390 million. Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are all members;

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), established in 1992 and with 15 Member States among which is Tanzania - the only EAC state that also belongs to the Southern African bloc with a population of 277 million;

Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are covered by the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative, under which all products from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) except arms and ammunition have preferential access to the EU market;

Together with other Sub-Saharan African countries, the EAC Partner States also qualify for duty-free access to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA);

Products from EAC countries can access various markets in the developed world through the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which offers preferential treatment to a wide range of products originating in developing countries;

Membership in the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) enables products from Partner States to qualify for preferential tariffs on exports to member countries; finally

Burundi is a member of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) which aims at establishing a Central African Common Market.