TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nearly all booths taken for AGOA Forum trade fair

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Source: Times of Zambia

The Zambia Association of Manufactures (ZAM) has said 98 per cent of the booths in the Showgrounds pavilion have been taken up for exhibition during the forthcoming African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum.

ZAM chief executive officer Roseta Mwape said about 25 companies and three associations had so far registered for the exhibitions, which would run alongside the Forum.

In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Mwape said among the companies taking part in the exhibitions at Lusaka's Showgrounds were commercial banks, manufacturing, agriculture, energy and sectors and associations.

"In terms of the expo exhibition, we are almost done. We have done 98 per cent and we have put the closing date to be Friday May 27, 2011," Ms Mwape said.

On the delegates to the AGOA Forum, she urged the business community to register for the event, which will be hosted by Zambia at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in June this year.

Ms Mwape said ZAM was targeting 150 Zambian business houses to take part in the conference and so far 60, per cent had been captured.

She said it was important that those wishing to take part in the deliberations of the AGOA Forum registered before the deadline, which expires tomorrow.

Ms Mwape said the AGOA Forum should be used as a tool to increase the levels of export into the United States (US) market.

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Currently, 37 sub-Sahara African countries, including Zambia, meet AGOA's eligibility criteria and enjoy the advantages the Act offers trade.

Ms Mwape said it would be important that the manufacturing and other sectors, including the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs), participated and engaged with their US counterparts to improve the export volumes into that huge market.

Since the inception, Zambia's total exports to the US under the AGOA Act amounts to US$116 million, while imports are US$386 million representing a trade balance of US$270 million in favour of US.

The country's export trends to US market had grown from US$7.9 million in 2001 to US$25 million in 2008 but in 2009 it declined to $5.3 million due to the effects of the global economic crisis.

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