East African bloc eyes single currency to boost intra-regional trade

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-24 21:51:35|Editor: Li Xia
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NAIROBI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The East African Community (EAC) member states are hoping that a single currency for six member states will boost the level of intra-regional trade, an official said on Tuesday.

Kenneth Bagamuhunda, director general of customs and trade at East African Community (EAC) said in Nairobi that for most EAC countries, their main trade partners are not another member of the trading bloc and intra-regional trade stands at less than 13 percent.

"A single currency regime is expected to lower the cost of trading transactions among partner states and hence boost level of imports and exports within the region," said Bagamuhunda during a media briefing on the upcoming high-level conference on trade Integration in the EAC that will take place from Wednesday.

The three-day event is part of commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the EAC and the 15th anniversary of the implementation of the customs union.

Bagamuhunda said that the East African Monetary Union Protocol which is a requirement of a single currency has already been signed and ratified by all partner states.

"The law on the establishment of the East Africa Monetary Institute that will be gradually transformed into the East Africa Central Bank has also been finalized," he said.

He revealed that the East Africa Legislative Assembly has also endorsed the EAC Statistics bill that will provide a framework for the harmonized collection of economic data in the member states.

"We are also progressing well towards the establishment of the regional financial services commission that will provide technical input on the regulation and management of the financial sector in the trading bloc." he said.