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EAC Trade With Africa Sees Significant Rise, While Trade With the West Declines

EAC Trade With Africa Sees Significant Rise, While Trade With the West Declines

Trade within the East African Community has recorded a significant increase at the expense of trade with markets outside the continent. The EAC has also increased its trade with African countries outside of its sub-region. This is a result of the region’s deliberate efforts to boost intra-Africa trade.

As reported by the East African, the seven countries that make up the East African Community, according to the most recent data from the EAC Secretariat grew their trade with the rest of Africa by $584.6 million to $4.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, a 14% increase over the same time in 2022.

Also trade amongst the community grew by 12% from $2.6 billion to $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of the previous year, a sign of increasing commerce throughout the area throughout the year.

In contrast, the EAC’s trade with the European Union, which would typically account for 10% of all its trades fell by 14% from $2.04 billion in the three months to December 2022, to $1.7 billion in the last quarter of 2023.

Belgium saw the most steep decline in its trade with the EAC, dropping by 45% from $263 million in Q4 of 2023 to $188 million in Q4 of the same year. The USA recorded a 19% drop from $200 million in 2022’s October–December to $161 million in the previous year.

Germany, Italy, and Switzerland’s trade with the EAC fell by 12%, 2%, and 23%, respectively.

The EAC’s trade with its Asian partners also experienced the same trend, as its leading trade markets leading Asian producers, Pakistan, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Korea, all conducted fewer businesses with Easy Africa.

East African countries’ top merchant, China, saw an improvement in imports, but exports to the Asian superpower fell by 12%, suggesting that local companies are moving their operations to other markets.

During that period, exports to Malaysia, the fourth largest market for commodities from East Africa, had a 17% decline, despite a 47% increase in imports.

On the flip side trade between the EAC and West Africa’s regional bloc, ECOWAS, recorded more than a 3 times increase in the last quarter of 2023, going from $61 million in the same period in 2022 to $199.6 million in Q4 of 2023.

Also, trade with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) increased by 40% to 2.7 billion in the same period, raising its proportion of total EAC trade from 9.8 percent to 12.8%

South Africa, which accounts for the largest trade with the EAC in Africa rose from $664 million in the last quarter of 2022 to $838 million in Q4 of 2023, a 26% increase.

Business Insider

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