Kenyans see more benefits from the expanded regional market (2)

17:24, July 01, 2010      

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Under the protocol, the partner states are obligated to guarantee free movement of persons who are citizens of other member states as well as to ensure nondiscrimination of the citizens of the partner states.

East African nationals shall also enjoy the freedom to apply for employment, accept offers of employment and to move freely within territories of the partner states for the purpose of employment.

National governments shall, however, limit the free movement of persons on grounds of public policy, public security or public health but must appropriately notify partner states.

"I have noted that despite the huge potential benefits that are inherent in the EAC integration process, Kenyans are not fully aware about what the community means to them," Kibaki said.

He called on leaders at all levels to embrace the EAC integration in general and the common market in particular.

Kibaki said public servants should also play a greater role in this process to allow their citizens to reap the benefits of this positive development. "It is my expectation that public servants charged with executing the Common Market especially those responsible for immigration, labour, customs and education will facilitate the process rather than adopt a control attitude," he said.

He said the revival of the EAC has led to increased trade among the partner states that has also resulted in increased revenues across the region.

Kibaki said increased cross-border investment within the region is being realized and firms are now increasingly basing their business plans on the regional market rather than the national markets.

He said the Foreign Direct Investment trend in the EAC region has been on the upward trend.

According to the Uganda Investment Authority, Kenya is among the top 10 sources of foreign direct investment to Uganda with 27 licensed investment projects worth 158 million U.S. dollars.

In Tanzania, Kenya is the second biggest investor with 270 companies operating there providing jobs for more than 100,000 people.

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