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Trade Facilitation in the East African Community: Recent Developments and Potential Benefits

Investigation No. 332-530
USITC Publication 4335


Modern business practices, such as just-in-time delivery systems and global supply chains, underscore the importance of timely, predictable delivery. Trade facilitation—encompassing both simplified customs procedures and upgrades to transportation infrastructure—enhances countries’ ability to compete in international markets by reducing shipping delays and risk, and lowering the cost of trading.

Trade is growing rapidly among the countries of the East African Community (EAC)—Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda–expanding the volumes of goods crossing their borders. Members of the EAC, together with other African countries, have recognized the importance of improving these aspects of trade. This report outlines recent efforts by EAC countries to improve trade facilitation measures. It also describes the potential benefits to EAC countries of improved trade facilitation, based on a review of empirical studies and the experiences of other developing countries.

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