The East African Business Council, the regional apex body of private sector associations and corporates in East Africa, has urged East African Community member states to fast-track the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the regional bloc. DR Congo applied to join in June 2019 to increase knowledge on trade opportunities in the country for small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, in the region. Upon admission to the bloc, the natural resource-rich Central African country will join six member states including Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. According to a recent study by the East African Business Council in collaboration with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, a German development agency, with a potential market of approximately 81 million consumers, the DR Congo offers great market opportunities for SMEs in the region to export plastics and rubber, processed foodstuffs, textiles and leather. The study, titled “Opportunities for Trade in the DR Congo,” stated almost half of the trade between the country and the regional bloc is informal, implying the potential for trade hasn’t been optimized. “The combined exports of all the regional bloc member states into the DR Congo does not match that of South-Africa. Over the last… Read full this story
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