TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Zambia Strugges to Benefit from AGOA - US expert

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Source: Times of Zambia

Access by Zambian goods to the US market under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) has not succeeded because of the uncompetitiveness of Zambian products, an American trade expert Amanda Hilligas has said.

Hilligas who is AGOA trade advisor for the Southern Africa Global Competitive Hub said there were few Zambian products that could compete with other products on the American market.

Speaking during a seminar on the theme ‘Doing business with the US’ at the American Centre in Lusaka yesterday, Hilligas explained that there were several considerations in exporting goods to the American market.

Zambian exports were at a disadvantage on the US market because of factors like quantity and quality, the cost of transportation, pricing and the category of the products.

She challenged the private sector in Zambia to work hard to enable the country benefit from the AGOA initiative.

The economic development for Zambia and its success in penetrating the American market through AGOA was dependent on the effort of the private sector.

But Zambia Export Growers Association (ZEGA) chairman Luke Mbewe said the US should not decide on behalf of Zambian exporters what products were competitive or uncompetitive on that market.

The US market should give Zambian exporters a chance through the necessary permits to export so that they could make their own judgment about the competitiveness of their goods on the market.

Zambian exports have effectively been unable to penetrate the American market because of being subjected to many administrative barriers, such as stringent and elaborate Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements.

Director of industry at the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry Siazongo Siakalenga said the US should assist Zambia improve its access to that market through AGOA.

Siakalenga said Zambia had a lot of things to sell to the US market which it was selling to other markets without the administrative barriers.

On investment Siakalenga observed that there had been very little investment by American companies in Zambia.

Phelps Dodge was named as the single and largest American company that had invested in Zambia.

Siakalenga called for more American investment in Zambia.

Acting deputy Chief of party at the US embassy Jill Derderian said her Government was committed to helping developing countries realise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing poverty and improving living standards.

Derderian said trade and investment helped promote sustained economic growth and that the US government was working to promote trade on the continent.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Zambia’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.