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Zambia: Egyptian company tips govt on US market

Published date:
Thursday, 14 April 2011

An Egyptian paper manufacturing firm, Mintra, has urged Zambian companies targeting the United States (US) market to make their products environmentally friendly as it is a major attraction for the Americans.

Mintra export manager Osama Mounir said in Lusaka at the Zambia-Egypt Business Forum and Exhibition that it was vital that goods manufactured for export to the US market met high quality standards and were also environmental friendly.

He said there were massive campaigns across the world about preserving the environment.

Zambia would this year host the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum in Lusaka, the Act itself made to promote trade between Sub-Saharan African countries with the vast American market.

"Mintra makes all its paper products from waste sugarcane by-products and not trees and that means we save the environment from first deforestation and also preserve nature by maintaining sanctuary for wildlife like birds and all sorts of animals.

"Besides that we protest the environment from air pollution that would occur if the waste material from sugarcane was burnt," he said.

Mr Mounir said as a result, Mintra paper was popular despite coming from sugarcane waste and was just as good as paper material from wood.

He said paper made from sugarcane waste was proving to be cost effective as it reduced on the importation of wood materials and maximised on the usage of sugarcane.

He said the use of local waste material to make paper was a boost to the local economy especially that his firm makes 250 different types products in form of paper.

Though his country is not a member of AGOA, Mr Mounir said because of the quality and eco-friendliness of his company's paper, it faced no problem in penetrating the American market than those of Europe and other continents.

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"Last year, we made a turnover of over US$60 million and one thing is that 50 per cent of our produced paper in all forms goes to the USA and it works well for us.

"The rest of our products go to Europe at about 25 per cent and then Africa and the rest Arab countries gets 15 per cent with the rest for the Egyptian market," he said.

He was excited that Zambia was rich in sugarcane plantation and with such a rich source of raw material, his company would explore avenues of making Zambia a centre for his company.

Zambia has vast sugarcane plantations in Kafue and more are planned for Kazungula. Plans are also underway to develop sugarcane plantations in Luapula Province. He said Zambia had a stable political climate which was good business.

“ 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.

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