By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT has launched two strategies meant to improve Zambia’s trade by providing traders and the business community platforms for the reporting, monitoring and resolution of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs).
The State launched the national strategy on the elimination of non- tariff barriers impacting Zambia’s trade and while re-launching the NTBS SMS reporting tool.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, Mushuma Mulenga, said promotion of trade was key to enhancing productivity, employment creation and the attainment of sustainable and inclusive growth.
Mr Mulenga said the development of the national strategy on elimination of non-tariff barriers impacting Zambia’s trade had been necessitated by a number of challenges.
He said these challenges included inadequate coordination among border agencies, burdensome technical framework and inadequate information on procedures and requirements for exporting and importing among many others.
On the elimination of non- tariff barriers impacting Zambia’s trade, Mr Mulenga said the strategy had been developed to attain a regulatory and administrative framework that promoted competitiveness and facilitates prevention of potential elimination of existing NTBS.
Mr Mulenga said this during the official launch of the documents in Lusaka recently.
“The NTB strategy is expected to contribute to enhancing Zambia’s competitiveness through a systematic effective and coordinated NTB monitoring and reduction framework,” he said.
Mr Mulenga indicated that Zambia as a member of the multilateral, continental and regional trade organisations was dependent on good trade and political relations with trading partners and the global economy for economic growth.
At the same function, COMESA Assistant Secretary General, Kipyego Cheluget, commended Government for putting in place the two strategies as they would facilitate trade for cross border trade.
Ambassador Cheluget also appreciated the role played by European Union and it continued support for trade facilitation in the region
Southern Africa Cross Border Traders Association (SACBTA) Secretary General, Jacob Makambwe pledged to support the implementation of the strategies.