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German entrepreneur welcomes EAC expansion

The anticipated economic boom from an expanded East African Community (EAC) will spur the production of consumer goods and attract more investments, a German business executive said here Tuesday.

Mark Zillmann, Managing Director of Beiersdorf East Africa, a cosmetics products manufacturing firm, said the EAC expansion would encourage multinationals to invest more for the enlarged market.

East African leaders at their meeting in Kampala Monday agreed to admit Burundi and Rwanda into the EAC, taking the membership of the economic bloc to five, including the founders – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The five East African countries are targeting average annual economic growth of 7%.

“The EAC expansion is an opportunity but you have to look at your resources and gain a deeper understanding of the new markets before moving on,” Zillmann told PANA.

He added: “We see the economic policies of these countries as neutral and positive for business growth. What makes us confident is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. It is right for new investments.”

The German entrepreneur said his firm was considering sourcing raw materials locally to boost regional growth, that would engender the consumption of manufactured products and rapid industrialisation.

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