The Quest to Deepen Intra-EAC Regional Trade: Progress and Challenges for Uganda
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The empirical question is whether Uganda’s intra- East African Community (EAC) trade is increasing following the implementation of the regional treaty and protocols or is still dominated by other trading blocs, namely the European Union (EU), Asia and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Progress has been registered in the elimination of intra-EAC tariffs, however, there are challenges that need to be addressed to deepen the EAC integration. Gravity model panel results demonstrate that whereas Uganda’s exports are getting more integrated into the EAC and COMESA regions,-between 2001 and 2010, imports are more integrated into the Asian and EU trading blocs. Therefore, strong links with trading blocs outside the EAC (i.e. EU and Asia) with regard to imports still exist. Thus, it is imperative for Uganda to target implementation of regional trade agreements to expand the country’s regional export markets. Uganda as well as the EAC region should collectively attract investment in production of high technology products to increase intra-EAC imports and reduce imports from Asia and the EU. The EAC region should adopt a legally binding approach to Non-Tariff Barriers, harmonises trade policies and standardises documentation and procedures.
- Social Sciences