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East African region intra-trade dropped by 5.5 pct in 2020 due to COVID-19

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Oct 1 – The East African regional business and private sector watchdog said on Thursday the East African Community (EAC) intra-trade dropped by 5.5 percent to 5.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The East African Business Council (EABC) said in a statement that the drop in EAC intra-trade was highlighted during a webinar on EAC Trade and Investment Recovery amidst COVID-19.

John Bosco Kalisa, the EABC chief executive officer, said the private sector was central in driving the economic recovery agenda for the EAC regional bloc amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rashid Kibowa, the director of Trade at the EAC secretariat, said the pandemic impacted trade performance, adding that EAC imports declined to 3.56 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 from 3.95 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

Kibowa said foreign direct investments in the EAC dropped by 43 percent to 4.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and jobs declined by 2 percent, wiping out the gains made in previous years

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