Business Council calls for support on imports, East Africa

Business Council calls for support on imports, East Africa
Published: 18 May 2010

The Arusha-based East African Business Council has asked the EAC governments to support local cement manufacturers now that the latter is facing major threats from imports.

"Our governments need to support local producers if the industry is to compete favourably with imported cement," read a statement from Mr Godwin Muhwezi Bonge, the EABC communications officer.

According to his statement, local cement industry is currently grappling with increased competition from imported cement from countries that enjoy lower production costs as well as subsidies since EAC finance ministers reduced Common External Tariff (CET) on cement from 40 per cent to 25 per cent.

Mr Muhwezi quoted Ms Agatha Nderitu, the Executive Director of East African Business Council as saying: "The EAC cement sector is not able to effectively compete with the low cost producers like Pakistan, China, and India because of the high production costs; not to mention the rail and road transport inefficiencies."