EPA meeting flops as member states fail to provide trade data
Tanzania says it won’t sign the deal until it has done an in-depth analysis taking into account the prevailing circumstances, particularly with regard to issues such as Brexit
The East African Community meeting that was to be held this weekend to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreement between the region and the European Union was postponed after several member states failed to hand in key trade data, putting in doubt a subsequent meeting that would have set the agenda for the upcoming EAC Heads of States Summit in February.
“Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda are yet to hand in their data to the Secretariat, while Kenya has already done so. We are not sure when they will, so upcoming meetings have been delayed indefinitely until the Secretariat receives all the data,”The EastAfrican was told.
Last week, the EAC Secretariat wrote to the Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda tax authorities and statistic agencies, through the ministries responsible for EAC affairs, asking them to provide the latest tax and trade input data.
In a letter dated January 13 from the EAC Deputy Secretary-General Jessica Eriyo, the member states were asked to provide data showing the products they are trading in, value of imports, source of the products (exporting country) and the tax rates.
“We request you to liaise with your respective revenue authorities and bureaus of statistics to urgently provide the EAC Secretariat with the trade input data for the past 10 years to 2015 by January 18,” the letter reads.