EAC to launch common market on July 1

09:58, June 25, 2010      

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The East African Community (EAC) is set to embrace the much anticipated Common Market which will come into force next week, an official announced in Kampala on Thursday.

"This is a major step in our journey as East Africans because once the common market is fully implemented, all citizens and businesses of the EAC will be treated the same way in each of the five partner states," Eriya Kategaya, Uganda's first deputy prime minister and minister for EAC affairs told a media briefing.

The regional bloc comprising of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi will on July 1 launch the Common Market which provides for the free movement of labor, goods, services, capital and the right of establishment in the EAC region.

The Common Market, though raised some concerns among business communities in Uganda which has a weaker industry compared to the neighboring Kenya, is expected to boost efficiency and productivity.

"Competition is likely to increase, resulting in more efficient businesses and cheaper prices for consumers," said Kategaya, adding that "the factors of production will be allocated more efficiently as capital and labor move to where returns are highest. "

Kategaya noted, however, that the implementation of the common market will be in a progressive manner.

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