Trade facilitation is a key aspect of the functions of chambers of commerce worldwide. EACCIA ensures that other constituent chambers are responsive and ready to deliver this objective. The outputs to be delivered from trade facilitation are many and EACCIA is better positioned to handle issues that shall ensure that the environment in which national chambers are operating is conducive, to better serve their members, as follows:
- 1: Improvement of the Business Environment at the EAC
This seeks to improve the business environment through harmonization of policies, laws and regulations so that the private sector can be competitive. Issues to be raised that cut across the region, as being prioritized during the intervention is how ready the EACCIA is to driving the following: Poor Trade Facilitation; Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), such as weighbridges, customs documentation, non-harmonized standards, work permits, and business licenses among others; inadequate skilled labour and entrepreneurship skills and Illicit Trade.
- 2: Enhancing Regional Public Private Dialogue (PPD) and Partnership
This seeks to enhance regional public-private sector dialogue and partnerships through refocusing public institutions so as to make them more supportive of private sector development (PSD), through stable and predictable policies and having in place transparent and clear business rules. In addition, it seeks to promote public-private consultative mechanisms by marshalling political will. Issues considered under this output include inadequate institutionalized public-private dialogue (including lack of a driver of the process); lack of a regional public-private sector dialogue framework.
- 3: Capacity Building for Trade Support Institutions in the Region
Capacity building within the EACCIA envisages restructuring national Chambers, to enable them to adopt a regional rather than a national focus. The strategy calls for effective support services comprising training, consultancy and advisory services, marketing services, technological services, information dissemination, developing of entrepreneurial skills, enhancing access to financial services and promotion of business linkages. It also calls for support learning processes, through study tours and trade fairs whereby enterprises learn from the experience of others; and conferences and professional meetings, on a regional basis.
- 4: Creation of a Framework for Forging Synergies across Sectors
Needed synergies should be developed, to include supporting measures that ensure that EACCIA represents national chambers’ interests and that its representation is aligned to the changing East African private sector structure. In addition, it advocates for national chambers to be structured so that they can act on a regional scale, with EACCIA playing a leading role in promoting regional integration. The need to adopt a cluster approach across key sectors of the EAC economy are also be explored, as a means to ensure greater regional integration as this would help to reap economies of scale. In addition, a cluster approach makes it easier to promote the sectors at a regional level and explore areas of complementarities as opposed to competition, and ultimately to pro- mote EAC as a whole.