EABC AIMS TO IMPROVE BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT BETWEEN GERMANY AND EAST AFRICA
The East African Business Council, the apex body of the private sector in the EAC led talks with German African Business Association (Afrika-Verein) alongside the 2nd German-African Business Summit in bid to improve bilateral trade and investment between Germany and EAC partner states.
The 2nd German-African Business Summit (GABS) that took place from 8 to 10 February 2017 at InterContinental Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya; attracted more than 500 participants from business and politics. The Second German-African Business Summit provided opportunity to explore new markets, meet potential business partners and discussed opportunities and challenges on the business environment in Africa. In attendance also were High-ranking politicians, like the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation & Development, Dr Gerd Muller, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Amina Muhammed, the German Parliamentary State Secretary, Ms Brigitte Zypries as well as several ministers from other African countries.
“The rate of return on foreign direct investment is higher in Africa than any other developing region of the world” stated Hon. Amina Muhammed addressing audience during the official opening. Hon. Amina Muhammed also noted that the continental free trade area will provide larger market for goods and services.
Talks on “Integrated Africa: Regional Economic Integration and Emerging Business Opportunities” were unlocked by Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, EAC Deputy Secretary General Productive and Social Sectors highlighted that efforts on EAC Single custom territory and having a legislative parliament possibly indicates that regional integration could be Africa’s’ next big economic success story. “The Custom Union and Common Market has spurred industrialization in EAC countries” said Betty Chemutai Maina, Principal Secretary of EAC Integration at the Ministry of labour and East African Affairs, Kenya. The panel discussions noted that regional integration successes are susceptible to tensions of protectionism that lead to barriers denying business a larger market. Thomas Schaefer, Chairman& Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa cited China growth successes and noted there is potential in investing in Africa and suitable polices boosts the industrialization. James Asare-Adjei, Group Executive of Asadtek Group Ltd. Ghana shared Adjei, Group Ltd successes in exporting to ECOWAS member states. “Regional integration offers a larger market and common laws which reduce business cost of such as stocking in each different country” emphasized EABC Vice Chair Kenya, Ambassador Dennis Awori.
Alongside the Second German-African Business Summit Mr. Audace Ndayizeye, EABC Chairman and Hon. Christophe Bazivamo led talks with the board members of the German African Business Association on EAC common market, trade liberalization, innovation, finance and investment. EABC agreed to collaborate with the German African Business Association and other important German players as part of a “German – East African Advisory Forum”. In addition, the German African Business Association agreed to collaborate with EABC by jointly organizing the EAC – German Business Conference by end of the year. “The conference will not only look at financing for SMES but also on which Foreign Direct Investment come from other countries to the EAC, that Germany misses out” stated Mr. Audace Ndayizeye, EABC Chairman.