AGOA is a Reality - Uganda's Muhwezi
United States President George Bush has declared Zambia eligible for continued tariff preferences under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry public relations officer Conrad Simuchile confirmed the development yesterday.
Simuchile stated that American Ambassador to Zambia, Martin Brennan, communicated the development to commerce minister Dipak Patel.
Simuchile said Zambia's continued eligibility to AGOA preferences, which was done on an annual basis, signified the country's steady progress towards a market-based economy, free trade, protection of workers' rights and several other governance issues.
AGOA was signed into law by former US president Bill Clinton on May 18, 2000 as Title 1 of The Trade and Development Act of 2000, under American legislation.
Zambia is among 38, out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries, which are eligible for AGOA.
However, out of the 38 countries, only 19 are eligible to receive AGOA's textile and apparel benefits.
Fewer than 10 countries, Zambia inclusive, have also qualified for AGOA's hand-loomed, handmade, folklore textile and apparel provisions.
Simuchile added that as a result of AGOA textile provisions, Zambian companies have increased their investment portfolios to enable them have easy access to the vast AGOA market.
Some notable companies, which have taken advantage of the AGOA textile provisions include Swarp Spinning Mills, which exports cotton yarn through other AGOA eligible countries such as Botswana, Mauritius and South Africa.
So far Swarp Spinning Mills has exported over two million kilograms of yarn, worth over US $7 million.
Simuchile further said that Unity Garments Limited, Zambia/China Mulungushi Textiles Limited Joint Venture and Zambia Textile of Livingstone were the other companies that would accrue benefits from AGOA this year.
In the agricultural sector, Simuchile said the exports of products would be enhanced further following the completion of the Pest Risk Assessment in five vegetables, which are fine beans, baby carrots, baby courgettes, asparagus and baby corn.
Latest AGOA Trade Data on AGOA.info
Click here to view a sector profile of Zambia’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated into total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.
For more about AGOA click here .
Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: