Tanzania and Rwanda have pledged to work together in addressing trade barriers and promoting cross-border trade between the two countries.
This was announced at the end of a three-day visit to Rwanda by a delegation of Tanzanian leaders on Tuesday.
According to Richard Tusabe, the Rwanda Revenue Authority deputy commissioner general, small-scale cross-border traders play a big role in the socio-economic development of the region and called for more goverments’ support. He added that there was need to facilitate small cross-border traders with simplified certificate of origin to ease their operations.
Simplified certificates of origin are issued by customs departments for goods not exceeding $2,000 (about Rwf1.3m) in value from where the goods originate.
“These traders are important in the economic chain and should, thus, access the East African Community (EAC) simplified certificate of origin and the advantages that go with it,” Tusabe said.
Trade between the two countries has grown at an average of 56 per cent a year since Rwanda joined the EAC in 2007.
The Akagera regional commissioner Fabian Massawe said the visit would further strengthen trade relations between the two countries. He re-affirmed Tanzania’s commitment to facilitating small cross-border traders.
“We want good relations to boost trade between the citizens of the two countries. I have learnt with regret that there are some irregularities in issuance of the simplified certificate of origin on our side…wrong people are involved and it must stop,” he warned.
The Rwanda and Tanzania revenue authorities launched the EAC simplified certificate of origin at the Rusumo border in Rwanda on March 16, 2012.