Trade among East African Community member states has grown by $4b (Shs15.014 trillion) since the establishment of Customs Union on January 2, 2005.
The growth signifies the importance of regional integration to member states which mainly pursues trade and market integration.
Mr Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the EAC customs general, said during the 22nd Ordinary Meeting of the East African Community Monetary Affairs Committee (MAC) that while integration will take long to be fully realised, there are already positives results.
“Since January 2005, EAC trade integration has resulted into increased volume of trade. In 2005, trade between the EAC states was $1.5b but has since increased to $5.5b in 2017,” he said.
According to Mr Bagamuhunda, infrastructure development in the region has developed, which has helped to grow trade in the region.
“We have put emphasis on infrastructure development for economic growth [with] customs as one of the avenues for growth,” he said.
The East African Customs Union was followed by the East African Community Common Market, which represents the second pillar of the EAC regional integration process.
The EAC regional integration provides for freedom of movement for all the factors of production such as goods and labour, among others.
Mr Bagamuhunda said the implementation of the Common Market has progressed well with the secretariat implementing a number of procedures such as the e-passport and one-stop border points, among others.
The East African Legislative Assembly has also passed the Bill establishing the East African Monetary Institute.
LARGEST TRADE PARTNER
Since the establishment of the EAC Common Market, trade between partner states has been growing with data showing that the region is Uganda’s market.