Afrique en ligne | 15 February 2010
EAC-US Council on Trade and Investment holds inaugural meeting
Dar es Salaam — Member countries of the East African Community (EAC) and the US Trade and Investment Council were due to hold their first meeting Monday in Kampala, Uganda, to set policy guidance that would enable implementation of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) signed by the two sides 16 July 2008.
The EAC secretariat said the meeting would discuss various areas of cooperation since the TIFA provides the ultimate opportunity for the EAC five-nation bloc ’to comprehensively engage in constructive and productive trade and investment relations with the United States.’
Areas of cooperation that will feature during the talks include improvement of market access and removal of trade and investment barriers between the EAC partner States and the United States; Coordination and consultation on AGOA implementation; improvement of technical regulations and standards and strengthening agricultural trade and agribusiness linkages.
Also on agenda is the development and strengthening of the financial sector and improving access to trade finance; encouraging improvements in trade-related infrastructure, including transportation and energy; and encouraging commercial and academic exchange programmes.
At the meeting, the EAC is represented by the ministers for trade from the member states, headed by Tanzania’s Industry, Trade and Marketing minister Mary M. Nagu, who is the current chairperson of the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment.
Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, US Deputy Trade Representative, is representing the United States.
The EAC region has developed keen interest in ensuring that the EAC-USA-TIFA is operationalised to the mutual benefit of both contracting parties.