DUMPING is the export of products at less than normal value often defined as at the price which those products are sold in the local market.
It is usually done to drive competitors off the market and secure a monopoly, or to hinder foreign competition.
In short the practice causes serious material damage to many industries in the recipient countries and Zambia has not been spared from it.
It would also appear that even with antidumping measures in place many such products still find their way in Zambia either through corruption or smuggling.
There is however likelihood such antidumping measures, like any multifaceted controlling regime, may give rise to anomalous or adverse results in some cases.
But for Zambia we think dumping requires sustained regulation, especially that we run open national markets not only to safeguard our products but also to push for export ventures.
The existence of price discrimination between domestic and export markets generally indicates the presence of a market distortion at home such as import barriers, a monopoly or cartel, or a combination of these factors.
There is no doubt however that over the long run, dumping practice can dissuade investment in the local market like ours where it is occurring.
Because dumping can result in the attrition or destruction of national industries for reasons unrelated to normal market competition.
It could also endanger the political consensus which supports our current liberal multilateral trading system.
It is therefore more uplifting to learn that Zambia in fact produces many local products and services of high quality that can sell very well on international markets.
Indigenous Zambian Products (IZP) director Rozious Siatwambo says there are many goods produced locally yet Zambia has never taken full stock of what was made locally.
The result, we think, has Zambia being turned into a dumping ground because the international markets have taken advantage of the prevailing situation where local but high quality products are not exposed internationally.
“In Zambia we have a lot of goods that we produce but we have never taken time to make an inventory of these local products like how it is done in Ghana or Kenya,
“In those countries there are centres specifically for local products and services, but for us local producers we only gather when there is a promotion or open market day,” said Dr Siatwambo.
He said in Zambia local producers come together when there is a function such as Agriculture and Commercial show but after that, it was difficult to locate them.
Dr Siatwambo said most local products are capable of competing on the international market but lack exposure.
He explained that the Indigenous Zambian Products promoters are an initiative aimed at promoting local products and services that were unique.
But author David Kashiki says that slowly companies involved in local production are profiling them on social media platform.
Mr Kashiki notes that some of the companies, which had been profiled, include Baobab Swirls, which was making soap from goat milk, Newtech Recycling and Savanna Premium which manufactured chocolate.
He says that many companies have come on board and called on others to do the same so that people knew and appreciate what they are doing.
We think time has come for Zambia to showcase its local products in earnest and quickly line them up for export to earn that much-needed forex to better our national economy.
Needless to emphasize that exports are important for the development and growth of national economies, including Zambia’s.