From 31 October to 2 November 2022, the East African Community (EAC) Regional Committee on Trade in Services convened a meeting in Nairobi facilitated by the EAC Secretariat with support from GIZ via the Support to East African Integration (SEAMPEC II) Programme to validate the EAC regulatory audit for the EAC mechanism on the removal of restrictions on Trade in Services captured after validation at national level.
In 2019, the regulatory audits were undertaken in professional services (engineering, architectural, accountancy and legal), insurance services, tourism services, telecommunication services, and distribution services. The audits identified measures that put limitations on market access and national treatment as well some issues of domestic regulations.
The Regional Committee Meeting on Trade in Services achieved the following:
• Validated the data from the regulatory audit on the EAC mechanism on the removal of restrictions on Trade in Services; • Agreed on the way forward for the removal of restrictions on Trade in Services; • Agreed on the roadmap of the Republic of South Sudan for the development of its schedule of commitments on the progressive liberalization of Trade in Services for the EAC.
The meeting also highlighted that the validated excel template will be transformed into a live online database document that will be updated regularly by Partner States to assess changes in regulatory framework on Trade in Services in EAC.
In September 2021, the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance, and Investment (SCTIFI) had directed Partner States to undertake national consultations on the results/data from regulatory audits in the excel template of the mechanism on removal of restrictions on Trade in Services. During the Regional Committee on Trade in Services held on 1st to 5th August 2022, it was requested for National Committee meetings to be conducted by Partner States to consider the data in the excel template by October 2022.
In this regard, from 26 September to 14 October 2022, National Committee Meetings facilitated by the EAC Secretariat with support from GIZ via SEAMPEC II were conducted in the six Partner States.
The National Committee meetings updated the data in the regulatory audits captured in the excel template and developed their capacity building needs. In addition, the Republic of South Sudan developed a roadmap for the preparation of its schedule of commitments on the progressive liberalization of Trade in Services for the EAC.
SEAMPEC II implements together with the EAC Secretariat on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It aims to improve framework conditions for regional and continental trade with potential to support sustainable economic transformation, among them ICT, e-Commerce, and tourism. The programme also assists the private sector in developing policy positions and recommendations.
Find more information about SEAMPEC II here.