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Wednesday, 14 April 2010 11:14

Regional Meetings Planned to Debate Investment Climate

By Geoffrey Irungu

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 13 (Business Daily) - Tanzania and Uganda will in the coming weeks host investment conferences focusing on the challenges of doing business in Africa and East Africa respectively.


Reducing obstacles to doing business such as improving registration in Africa from the average of 429 days and nine procedures will be a key subject at the discussions.


Attention will be on the issues of the cost of each procedure which is 20 times more expensive, as a percentage of per capita income in Sub-Saharan African countries at 99.7 per cent of per capita income than in OECD or developed countries at 4.7 per cent.


Attention will also be on import and export procedures that take at least three times longer, and costs twice as much, in Sub-Saharan Africa than in the developed world.


Other issues to be discussed include counterfeiting in which East African countries lose billions in revenue from unpaid taxes, with Africa being the main transit route for counterfeits to Europe.


The conference in Tanzania is organised by the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF which announced that it would be held on May 4-5 at Dar es Salaam's DoubleTree Hilton Hotel.


The ICF is a public-private partnership between government and business that aims to help Africa create a more attractive business environment and realise its potential as a global player and trading partner.


An ICF press release said the summit would bring together African heads of government, senior state officials and executives from the business community to share best practices and to establish a collaborative action plan on improving investment climates in Africa.


The Dar-es-Salaam-based ICF said: "The Summit will discuss the importance of investment climates in increasing economic growth, creating jobs and alleviating poverty. Since several countries are taking measures to improve their investment climates, the summit will also discuss how to get the private sector to respond to measures that are being taken."


The Uganda meeting dubbed 3rd East African Community (EAC) Conference will be held in Kampala between April 27-30.


EAC Secretariat will collaborate with regional investment promotion agencies, the East African Business Council and Uganda's ministry of EAC affairs to host the meeting at Speke Resort in Kampala.


The conference would serve as the launch of EAC's Doing Business Report 2010, a report of the World Bank. It is expected that all the five EAC heads of state will attend.



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