CONSENSUS: According to the forum communiqué, effects of the global economic crisis can be prevented by a quicker implementation of integration of a single market
KIGALI - Reducing the cost of doing business in the East African Community states can help to mitigate the would-be effects of the global crisis, the commonwealth East African International Business Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, said in a joint communiqué issued on Saturday.
The forum pointed out in the statement that the current global crisis is a serious cause for worry to Africa and east Africa due to the fragile nature of its infant economies that depend mainly on foreign grants and aid.
Although it is impossible to predict exactly how, access to finance and aid flows may come under pressure and earnings from commodities will be lower, it pointed out.
The forum said the private sector believes that the global economic crisis argues for an even quicker implementation of integration and a single market destination as half-hearted measures or delay in removing trade barriers will make economic performance worse.
According to the communiqué, tackling barriers to investment through the establishment of the single market will be critical to attracting local and international investors in the region.
However, earlier on Friday, during the plenary discussions, some financial experts said the east African financial institutions still had a relative chance of survival.
They said that the flow of potential investment funds for debt and equity remains good provided well structured bankable projects can be put in place.
The forum further called on regional governments and businesses to be more vigorous in promoting a single market, building public understanding and support for the integration process to effectively face the global crisis challenges ahead.
The forum recommended the initiatives to develop a regional strategy to combat corruption including a business code of ethics by mid next year.
The event at Kigali Serena hotel was organized by the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) in partnership with Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA), Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PFS) and the East African Business Council (EABC). APA