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GM expects sales rise under EA pact

NAIROBI, Jun 9 – General Motors East Africa (GMEA) expects a significant increase in sales once rules of origin for trade among East African Community (EAC) member countries are formally amended.

GMEA Managing Director Bill Lay has said the new rules will allow duty free access of the company’s products within the region as opposed to the current restrictive trading regime.

“The enactment of the amended rules is great step ahead in terms of trade and development. At GMEA, we expect a huge rise in sales within the region,” said Lay.

He explained that the amended rules of origin will ease trade in the region by among other things, reducing barriers that have existed in the past.

He was speaking when GMEA unveiled a Sh70 million waste water treatment plant.

The plant is designed to treat the firm’s waste in compliance with both GM Corporate Environmental Performance Standards and The Environment Management Coordination Act (EMCA).

“At GMEA we are committed to protecting the environment we operate in. The investment we are commissioning today will ensure that waste from our operations is safe (for release into) the environment and can be reused,” he said.

The new waste water treatment plant was designed to accommodate GMEA’s expansion plans as current waste will only use 20 per cent of the installed capacity of 178,000 m3 per day.

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger who launched the plant asked companies to adopt environmentally friendly practices.

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“Our environment is being rapidly degraded due to human activities. All of us have a responsibility to conserve it for future generations. I commend GMEA for showing leadership and investing money when everybody else is cutting back on spending,” said Ranneberger.

GMEA has also sunk a borehole to complement water supply from the City Council and ensure self sufficiency.

The firm is the only automotive assembler in East Africa to have earned and maintained the prestigious Environmental Management System Certification ISO 14001:2004 in 2002.

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