East African Community member states should invest more in research on integration of the trading bloc to enhance seamless movement of goods and services.
Trademark East Africa CEO Frank Matsaert says research will help enhance availability of evidence to support inclusive trade, gender and poverty policy programming about cross border trade.
Intra East Africa trade is currently valued at over 500 billion shillings but the numbers are expected to decline due to the coronavirus pandemic that has seen member states restrict movement of persons.
To enhance movement of persons and reduce cases of standoffs at border points, Trademark East Africa is calling on researchers and IT innovators to come up with applications that can offer medical updates of truck drivers and traders in real time.
EAC member states are being urged to increase their spending on research and innovation to inform policy formulation that will strengthen intra EAC trade and reduce the cost of doing business.
Traders have been urged to embrace e-commerce to navigate travel restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19.
Stakeholders want EAC member states to adopt and enforce existing policies in totality to enhance trade.