Main Article Content
Trade, Export Promotions, Trade Facilitation, Trade Support, Trade Organisations, East Africa, EAC
This study identifies the export promotion instruments that are applied by public export promotion organisations situated within the East African Community (EAC) countries to stimulate exports and encourage economic growth. The East African region is the fastest developing region in Africa. EAC member countries are, therefore, used as a case study. How export promotion instruments are bundled by export promotion organisations depends on the socioeconomic, political and trade environment of a country as well as the structure of the country’s export promotion agencies. By utilising primary and secondary data, public export promotion organisations of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda were studied. These general and country-specific instruments were identified through onsite interviews in the respective countries under investigation. The results suggest that the most important export promotion instruments applied include advertising, promotional events, advocacy and legal assistance. It also includes capacity building concerning packaging, pricing and quality requirements within foreign markets as well as assistance concerning planning and preparation for export market engagement. Foreign trade missions, trade fairs, expos, and additional services offered by trade offices and representatives abroad are also general export promotion instruments, as is the provision of information and export financing. Country-specific export promotion instruments identified during onsite interviews in the various countries include unique promotional events and product branding, use of cell phone WhatsApp groups and embassies as a channel for information, trade assistance and trade clinics. Our contribution to the field is that this study is foundational and represents the first comprehensive effort to write up these activities of the EPO’s to establish viable research in the EPOs in the East Africa Region.