Published On: 8-4-2012

  • Officials visit EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, which is part of the community including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
  • Forum, to be held in October, will focus on investment opportunities in infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and financial services in East Africa
  • Al Hashemi: Forum is part of exploring emerging markets while enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses in lucrative African markets

Dubai, UAE: As part of their preparations for hosting of the Eastern African Community (EAC) Investment Forum in Dubai on October 16 and 17, a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation recently visited Arusha in Tanzania which is the headquarter of the Community made up of five African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

Led by Mr. Hassan Al Hashemi, Director, External Relations, Dubai Chamber, the delegation held a series of meetings with H.E. Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the Eastern African Community, and a number of other officials and finalised the details of the Forum which will focus on investment opportunities in infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and financial services.

The visit, which came in line with Dubai Chamber’s initiative of exploring new and emerging markets for its members, especially the African Continent, also aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses in lucrative markets of the world.

Al Hashemi informed that the visit helped the delegation finalise the preperations of the Eastern African Community Investment Forum which will be held in association with EAC in Dubai on October 16 and 17 stating that the Forum will not only inform the business community of Dubai about the investment potential of the African countries but will also allow both the sides to discuss joint cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

The External Relations Director of Dubai Chamber further stressed that the meeting with the Eastern African Community leaders was very fruitful as the two sides discussed all the relevant details of the forum and how to make it a success for Dubai and the EAC bloc.

Lauding the world-class facilities offered by Dubai to all foreign investors, Al Hashemi stated that the Emirate has established itself as a leading business and financial hub in the region thanks to its strategic location of an East meets West destination offering excellent air and sea ports, free zone facilities and a business-savvy environment which attract investors from all over the world.

Al Hashemi added: “Dubai’s expertise acquired over the years in the areas of infrastructure, logistics, transport, finance and trade will be handy for the members of the Eastern African Community who can make the best use of these facilities and services to reach out to their potential customers in Europe, East Europe, North America and Asia including India and China.”

Al Hashemi also met Mr. Elishilia D. Kaay, Managing Director of Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) and discussed potential Dubai Chamber and AICC synergies on specific events including the Annual Africa Development Bank Meetings which will be held at the end of June 2012.

The Dubai Chamber delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Arusha Branch. On their part, the Tanzania Chamber officials expressed their support and wished the EAC Investment Forum in Dubai huge success.

The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Burundi with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The EAC was established with a vision to set up a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable and politically united East Africa; and provide platform to widen and deepen economic, political, social and cultural integration in order to improve the quality of life of the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments.
The EAC countries established a Customs Union in January 2005 and established a Common Market in July 2010, subsequently a Monetary Union by 2012 and ultimately a Political Federation of the East African States. The large regional economic bloc has a combined population of more than 125 million people, land area of 1.82 million sq kms and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $73 billion (2009), and aims to strengthen the ties between the members through a common market so as to improve the investment climate in the bloc and to promote its competitiveness in the global market.