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The East African Business Council has signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with a top Norwegian business agency, Innovations Norway, to facilitate trade-related of the respective stakeholders.

The MoU was signed by EABC Chairman Denis Karera and Innovation Norway Chief Executive Officer Ms Anita Krohn Traaseth, and witnessed by East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera and the Norwegian Minister for Trade and Industry, Ms Monica Maeland, at the EAC Secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania.

‘Some of the main areas of cooperation will be in the petroleum and education sectors with the latter focusing on the information and communication technology sector. The two parties further agreed to increase market access through information sharing; promote investment in both regions, and; capacity building and technical assistance,’ a release indicates.

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The EABC is the apex body of private sector associations in the EAC region, while Innovation Norway’s regional office for East Africa serves as the Commercial Section of the Norwegian embassies in the East African region.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines, Dr Sezibera and Ms Maeland held bilateral talks, mainly focusing on the upcoming negotiations between the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) and the EAC.

Founded in 1960, EFTA is an inter-governmental organization which comprises Ireland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and it promotes free trade and economic integration among its member which have expressed interest in strengthening ties with the EAC partner states.

‘…have proposed a Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the two Parties. It is hoped that the Joint Declaration on Cooperation will be signed in November this year’ the release adds..

 

Present at the function were the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania and the EAC, Ms Hanne-Marie Kaarstad; the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Planning and Infrastructure) Dr Enos Bukuku; the Director General Customs and Trade Mr Peter Kiguta and other senior officials.