Zambia: ‘Regional integration vital for growth’

Zambia: ‘Regional integration vital for growth’
Published
Friday, 14 October 2016 ~ KABANDA CHULU, KAWELA MULENGA

Zambia will continue strengthening its participation in regional economic integration and trade investment platforms because the agenda will promote the country’s industrialisation efforts, a senior Government official has said.

Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Kayula Siame also said there is need for continued private sector sensitisation on the eligibility of the over 6,000 products that are supposed to be exported duty free into the US market, under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum.

In an interview, ahead of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) policy organs meetings that begins today in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Ms Siame said Zambia will strive to ensure that regional trade results in mutual benefit for all member States.

The platform also offers opportunities to the private sector to strike deals and partnerships through the COMESA Business Council.

Asked why member countries don’t ratify and domesticate the various COMESA treaties that have been signed, Ms Siame said not every member is at the same level of development.

“We are coming from different backgrounds and domesticating treaties requires consultations at all levels, this creates a challenge since you have to re-align national policies to a regional perspective, and also some countries have already in place some of the proposed regional programmes,” she said.

And Ms Siame, who led the Zambian delegation at the just-ended AGOA forum in the US, said Zambia has not done much to utilise the duty free market that has been offered.

“We need to develop AGOA utilisation strategy and identify products to be exported since the over 6,000 products offered are a huge opportunity to miss! There is need for continuous private sector sensitisation on what should be exported and also to offer them technical support in partnership with cooperating partners,” she said.

This year’s forum was held under the theme ‘Maximising AGOA now to prepare for the future beyond AGOA.’

Last year, President Obama signed into law, the trade preferences extension Act 2015, which further extended AGOA for another 10 years to 2025.

View related news articles

Zambia urged to benefit from AGOA

Zambia needs to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as it still possesses opportunity for economic growth. Since its inception in 2000, AGOA has given duty-free and quota-free access to the United States market on about 6,000 products from qualifying African countries, including Zambia. Speaking at the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA)-sponsored US-Africa Business Summit under the theme “The US stake in Africa:...

19 June 2017

COMESA states lack strong industries to spur regional trade - Siame

Zambia commerce permanent secretary Kayula Siame says intra-COMESA trade continues to face challenges despite the available instruments designed to improve integration. And COMESA assistant secretary general Dr Kipyego Cheluget says Zambia is among countries that have not exploited the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Speaking during the official opening of the 32nd meeting of the trade and customs committee in Lusaka, Siame said...

31 August 2016

Zambia: AGOA strategy development initiative completed

The six month AGOA Strategy Development Initiative headed by the Honorary Consul of Zambia in California, Robert Sichinga Jnr and a team from the UCLA Anderson School of Management is complete and the final report was sent to the Zambia Development Agency. The final presentation was made at the UCLA Anderson School of Management  on Friday March 11th in the presence of officials from the Consular Corp representing four other countries,...

15 March 2016

COMESA: AGOA-US exports swell to $17 billion

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) exports to America under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) has amounted to US$17 billion. The exports through the COMESA eligible countries amounted to $17.3 billion by November 2015. COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya said the United States-COMESA Trade and Investments Framework Agreement (TIFA) provides a more in depth copperation which could collaborate for mutally...

08 February 2016

US urges Zambia to diversify

The US government says the recent slump in copper prices serves as a timely reminder for Zambia to diversify its economy. US Ambassador to Zambia Eric Shultz says serious efforts must be taken to shift the economy to agriculture, tourism and power generation. Speaking when he officiated at the eighth US-COMESA consultative trade meeting, Ambassador Shultz also urged member countries to take advantage of the extended AGOA agreement to...

08 February 2016

Zambia to boost AGOA with strategy

Zambia has developed a strategy to help local exporters increase penetration of the United States of America market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The National Response Strategy which has cost US$100,000 will be implemented to address the difficulties that Zambian companies faced in accessing the US market in the last 15 years of utilising the AGOA. AGOA was signed into law on May 18, 2000 as Title One of the Trade and...

23 April 2015

COMESA reportedly unhappy with poor trade with US

Africa’s main regional trade bloc, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), on Tuesday expressed concerns over its low share of trade with the United States despite the two sides having signed economic development agreements. The COMESA said it was unfortunate that both of its export and import with the U.S. remain low. The value of trade between the two sides was relatively low despite the establishment of the African...

24 February 2015

US-Zambia agricultural trade drops in 2014

Bilateral trade in agricultural products between Zambia and the United States dropped significantly in 2014, the Times of Zambia reported on Friday. Agricultural trade between the two countries dropped to 504,000 U.S. dollars from 732,000 dollars representing a 32 percent reduction, the paper said, quoting a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The statement said the two countries had failed to utilize the Africa Growth...

11 January 2015

Zambia: Government, COMESA act to boost AGOA exports

The Government in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has put in place a committee which will look at ways and means of increasing exports to the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) market in the United States of America(USA). Commerce Trade and Industry Minister Bob Sichinga said there were a number of issues that needed to be addressed such as the Phytosanitary and sanitary measures. Mr Sichinga...

21 May 2014

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...

02 April 2014