The World Bank has adopted Rwanda’s report on the assessment of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) paving way for action against such hindrances.
The report conducted by the Rwanda Private Sector federation (PSF) last year, was authored after Rwandan traders said they suffered barriers along both the northern and central corridors leading to Mombassa port.
According to Emmanuel Hategeka the Chief Executive Officer of PSF, the World Bank adoption of this report is recognition of the existence of the barriers.
“The adoption of the report will also help us in the future monitoring of the non- tariff barriers,” said Hategeka.
The aim of the study was to provide an insight into the reality of what it takes to ship goods from Rwanda to the outside market and identify specific bottlenecks that must be addressed if shipping costs must be lowered.
The World Bank adoption of this report was in July during the stakeholders meeting that was organized by the EAC member states along side East African Business Council (EABC) seeking to smoothen cross boarder trading.
Hategeka said that there are concerted efforts to engage the governments of partner states in ironing out the problems that were pointed out in the report.
According to reports from traders, there has not been much improvement in cross boarder trade since the release of the report. PSF will conduct a survey to assess the improvement in intra-trade following official release of the NTB report.
The World Bank is adopting the report after it was adopted by the East African Community.
The NTB report was also endorsed by the region’s Finance Ministers during their pre-budget meetings, underscoring that NTBs were undermining EAC intra-trade and integration.
It is expected that the removal of non-tariff barriers would ensure compliance with the Customs Union Protocol, other legal instruments to consolidate customs union implementation.
This will help the EAC to gain international competitiveness through cutting cost of doing business as well as assisting in addressing pervasive poverty in the region.
The study that resulted into the identification of NTBs stressed the need for urgent reduction of non-tariff barriers along the northern and central corridors.
The barriers which need agent attention were categorized into those related to physical infrastructure and policy oriented ones.
Rwanda stands to gain from the development since it heavily relies on northern and central corridors for her imports and exports.