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GOVERNMENT should strengthen its bilateral trade relationships among countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana and Angola to spur speedy economic recovery.

To revive the local economy, there is need for strong participations in countries such as the DRC, Social Economist, Kelvin Chisanga, said in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Chisanga said special focus should be paid to countries such as Tanzania, DRC and Angola because of their imminent growth rates which are escalating in their local economies even though they have their own challenges.

“Zambia is supporting Tanzania’s economy in excess of more than 65 percent on important process through the sea transport followed by DRC, though Zambia occupies the largest percentage share on the market stake,” he said in his write up on Zambia’s trade.

Mr Chisanga said Zambia was a potential supplier of most consumables and non-consumables goods into the DRC market, which currently had no sound manufacturing industry other than the textiles it’s known for.

“I still feel or I would like to suggest that Ministry of Foreign Affairs should have an additional wing of regional integration.

“This department will be in full liaison with Ministry of Finance to work on building regional and inter-nation boundary relations around the borders in compliance with trade stakeholders such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and Southern African

Development Community,” he said.
Mr Chisanga said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should also have a regional integration unit with the inter-link of other key ministries to foster partnership for the export market.
This integration department, he explained, could work closely with neighbouring countries to enhance and harmonise trade affairs between borders, despite tightening of economic diplomatic functions.

“Though we have the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, I think Commerce is better placed to look at investment locally and abroad leaving out border operations with Zambia Revenue Authority, Zambia Bureau of Standards on certifications and among other issues,” he said.
Mr Chisanga said there was need to make the borders marketable with improved structures and invite investors to establish shopping complexes, offices and manufacturing companies.
“The functions of regional integration can strongly work on strengthening the borders to maximise trade between the countries,” he said.

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