Zambia engages SADC, COMESA states to harmonise trade and energy tariffs

Sat, 11 Feb 2017 10:10:48 +0000

ZAMBIA is negotiating with member states in the SADC and COMESA to harmonise trade and energy tariffs and assist grow its economy envisioned under the continental Tripartite Free Trade Area agreement (TFTA).

Zambia Development Agency Director General Patrick Chisanga, in an interview, said the move was aimed at increasing investment in trade, energy and other sectors.

The negotiations also sought to relax the scope or ease the cost of doing business and promote increased investment.

Mr Chisanga was speaking in Lusaka yesterday on the sidelines of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Boston Research and Intelligence Group (BRIG) on the production of the Zambia Investors Road Map 2017, a journal intended to promote Zambia as a favoured investment destination and boost the flow of FDI.

Mr. Chisanga said that Zambia and other member States in the two regional groupings were in constant dialogue on how they could co-exist on various issues.

He said apart from that, the efforts were also intended to increase Zambia’s reputation as a favoured destination by easing the cost of doing business.

According to estimates, Zambia expected to realise US$149.9 million annually of the total projected aggregate net benefit from the TFTA estimated at over US$ 3.3 billion per annum.

Zambia has been an active member State in the negotiations, providing strong leadership chiefly on key issues of rules of origin, customs, trade facilitation, and trade remedies.

The Tripartite Free Trade Area was officially launched by Heads of State and Governments in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt on June 10, 2015 with 26 countries from COMESA-SADC-EAC appending their signatures and the deal now awaits ratification by all the countries.

And ZDA and the BRIG have agreed to work together in the production of the Investor Road Map booklet for this year seeking to promote Zambia’s investment opportunities to increase its generation of FDI.

Mr. Chisanga, signing on behalf of ZDA, expressed hope that Zambia would experience increased FDI inflows as demonstrated by its political maturity.

BRIG Director, Baiba Petrusevica noted that Zambia had outpaced several countries in SADC in doing business and through its investment incentives and that the booklet would assist in the promotion of potential to grow more and ensure sustained economic growth.

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