East Africa: Business Community Welcomes Imminent Admission of DR Congo to EAC

The Chief Executive of East African Business Council (EABC), John Bosco Kalisa, has welcomed the move to admit the Democratic Republic of Congo into the East African Community body.

He says that it will bolster trade between the partner states, raising the market from 177 million to almost 269 million people.

The EAC heads of state meeting on Wednesday approved the process of DR Congo’s admission into the bloc after a report of the Council of Ministers on the admission of the country to become the seventh member of the regional grouping.

EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki hands the flag of the East African Community to Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi as his country starts process to join EAC

In an exclusive interview with The New Times, Kalisa said that DR Congo is a potential market for the East African Community.

“We want to extend our gratitude to the heads of state who have okayed this process, and we are very excited to have DRC as one of our partners, because the business and market opportunities provided by the country are immense,” said Kalisa.

Citing the Congolese profile export structure, Kalisa said that the process is adding a new momentum to the integration of the mother continent, Africa.

“Congo is already exporting a substantial amount of goods to Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda because they share borders, but because of the admission, we are going to have a borderless trade,” noted Kalisa.

Tackling on the Congolese Pavilion that has been set up in Rwanda International Trade Fair currently undergoing in Kigali, he described it as a positive impetus to demonstrate the region is open to everyone.

Kalisa then called for the expedition of the process to assure the business community starts reaping the fruits in the coming year.

He also urged East African business communities to maximise the political will and engagement and to create and cultivate that mutual trust between the nations.

The Democratic Republic of Congo will be the seventh country to join the East African Community, scaling the body’s total GDP from the current $193 billion by $50 billion to $240 billion, which economists say will make the EAC region a huge international market.

bbyishimo@newtimesrwanda.com

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