EAC, US seek stronger trade, investment ties

Handshake pic

The UK’s export credit agency has expressed its readiness to support eco-friendly projects in Tanzania with a credit guarantee of nearly 2 billion pounds (about Sh6.4 trillion). PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Trade and investment ties between East Africa and the United States are set for a boost during a business summit scheduled to take place in Nairobi next month

Arusha. Trade and investment ties between East Africa and the United States are set for a boost during a business summit scheduled to take place in Nairobi next month.

The event will see US business executives and investors engage with government representatives from East Africa partner states on crucial areas of cooperation.

“They will engage in dialogue that will showcase opportunities that will foster increased two-way trade and investment between the two sides,” the East African Business Council (EABC) said in a statement.

During a similar summit initiated by AmCham with the EAC and other African countries held last year, business deals worth over $700 million were struck.

“Such outcomes underscore the summit’s efficacy as a catalyst for advancing business partnerships and investment opportunities,” the regional business body added.

The coming AmCham business summit, EABC further added, will not only contribute to the advancement of US-EA trade and investment relations.

“It would shape the future of US-EA business cooperation and also serve to elevate the profile of the EA businesses in the global stage,” the EABC said.

The AmCham, one of the world’s largest business organisations, says of the summit slated for Nairobi on April 24 and 25: “It’s not just an event. It would be a transformative experience where industry leaders converge to forge lucrative deals and connections.”

AmCham members range from small businesses and chambers of commerce across the vast country to start-ups in fast-growing industries and global corporations.

The summit will enable exploration of opportunities and solutions “for enhancing two way trade and investment across policy frameworks, market access, innovation ecosystems, financing mechanisms and social impact”.

The American investors will specifically gain what the EABC describes as “sector-specific insights on the dynamic and rapidly evolving East African market landscape”.

Sectors that will be on focus include the digital economy, health, manufacturing, infrastructure, agriculture, energy and the creative industry.

The business summit is expected to explore investment prospects, discover opportunities and engage with a thriving investor community and government officials in facilitating investments in the region.

According to available trade statistics, the EAC exports to the US totalled $1.3 billion in 2022, up by 40 percent ($367 million) from 2021 and up by 121 percent from 2012.

Imports from the US, the world’s largest economy, to the EAC were $1.1 billion in 2022, up by two percent ($22million) from 2021 and up by 15 percent from 2012.

The US trade balance with the EAC shifted from a goods trade surplus of $211 million in 2021 to a goods trade deficit of $135 million in 2022.

Recently the US pledged to support the private sector growth in East Africa and that it was investing more than $40 million to the blue economy in Zanzibar.