Zambia: ZAM calls for incentives to utilise AGOA
The Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has called for incentives that will improve Zambia's chances of penetrating the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) apparel market.
ZAM chief executive officer Maybin Nsupila said predictable economic policies were imperative if the country's chances of penetrating the United States (US) AGOA market were to brighten.
Mr Nsupila said in an interview that a predictable policy environment can attract more investors in the textile industry which is the main source of exports to the AGOA market.
"Challenges affecting Zambia's performance on the AGOA can be addressed effectively through a stable policy framework that attracts and supports sustainable foreign direct investments," he said.
Government should expedite the process of formulating the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) in order to encourage dialogue among stakeholders on policy-making.
Mr Nsupila said the RIA is an important policy that will provide a platform for Government and other stakeholders to collectively agree on policies that will maintain a stable climate for investment.
He said contribution of the manufacturing sector to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has remained stagnant due to incapacity and poor product quality.
The sector has been contributing between 8 and 12 per cent to GDP annually because the country is unable to sustain large-scale manufacturing of certain products.
"Growth in the manufacturing sector is around 3 and 4 per cent over a comparative period of two years and this confirms the need for improved infrastructure to boost large-scale manufacturing of goods," he said.
A report published annually by the American Department of Commerce revealed that Zambia failed to export a single product to the apparel market through AGOA in 2013.
The report also disclosed that Africa's exports through AGOA to the US dropped to US$ 6,926 billion in 2013 compared to $8,770 billion in 2012.