Small-and-medium businesses (SMEs) are the main drivers of regional economies, making it important for governments to scale up support to the sector to enhance its capacity.
It’s in this regard that the East African Business Council (EABC) has come up with initiatives to bolster SMEs’ ability to engage in international trade successfully. On this front, the council will this month meet with the business community to discuss mechanisms on how small-and-medium entrepreneurs can use rules of origin policy to thrive in business.
“The three-day meeting seeks to strengthen SMEs capacity to effectively engage in the development.
“It’s therefore essential that they understand how the rules of origin policy operates if they are to benefit from it,” Andrew Luzze, the executive director East African Business Council (EABC), said.
According to Luzze, equipping the private sector with the necessary knowledge about the rules of origin arrangement will boost cross-border trade and, ultimately, raise the volumes of intra-regional trade.
Under the rules of origin, goods produced in the region are either zero rated or attract a minimal tax.
Luzze said the training will help raise awareness and build capacity of sector players in the EAC bloc so they harness the opportunities provided by the preferential trade regimes in the region and other trade blocs,” he said.
The training targets the business community and officials from the regional revenue authorities and other government agencies and trade support organisations to enhance their skills and knowledge on the revised EAC rules of origins.