AFRICA/TANZANIA - First African Common Market opened
Arusha (Agenzia Fides) – The East African Community (EAC) Common Market was officially opened on July 1, 2010. Its members are: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Under the terms of an agreement reached in November 2009 in Arusha (Tanzania), see of the EAC, the five countries of Central and Eastern Africa have created the first common market of the continent, which provides for free movement of persons, services, goods, and capital among the participants.
According to the Kenyan Minister for regional integration, the common market will only be fully operational in 2015, because it is still necessary to harmonize the different national laws.
The next step is to create a monetary union. By December of this year, the national central banks of the five member countries of the Community should establish a mechanism to facilitate the exchange of currency within the EAC. Currently, when a resident of one of the countries of the Community goes to another member country, they typically use foreign currency (dollars, euros) as a medium of exchange. According to the accords made in Arusha, the Governors of Central Banks in the five states of the EAC, as of January 2011 will be able to use their currency in another member country. Finally, they hope to create a system to facilitate payments within the EAC.
The creation of the Free Trade Area of the EAC has attracted the attention of foreign partners. Turkey intends to negotiate a free trade agreement with the Community and a framework to facilitate investment. September 28 to 30, 2010 in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, there will also be a business forum between Turkey and the EAC. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/02/2010)
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