ENHANCE TRADE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

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IN seeking to boost trade and economic growth, Zambia and other African countries will need to produce more textiles and other manufactured goods.

It is for this purpose that, regional economic communities (RECs), such as ECOWAS, COMESA, and SADC have been created over the last few decades.
But despite the formation of these bodies, it would appear the share of internal trade in Africa remains low, again this is not withstanding many regional trade agreements that have led to tariffs removal within the trading blocs.

Admittedly, expansion of trade among sub-Saharan African nations remains key to faster growth and development to the benefit of all their citizens.
There is no doubt however, that to unlock this potential, countries like Zambia will have to focus more on trade facilitation, including the simplification and modernization of trade procedures.
Therefore, to learn today that Zambia is among other African countries attending the seventh session of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland meant to enhance sustainable trade is a bolstering development.

Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry public relations officer Godfrida Chanda says Government is being represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Kayula Siame.
Ms Chanda says the seventh session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation is currently taking place in Switzerland and will end today May 9.

“This meeting will be a follow-up on the discussions at the sixth session that focused on trade logistics and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
“In adding, the seventh session will investigate in greater detail how trade facilitation and transit can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development,” she says
The meeting, she said, will provide an opportunity to among other matters, discuss the development related to trade facilitation and transit issues and share experiences, including by reviewing best practices associated with new and rapidly evolving technological developments.

“Discussions will focus on general trade facilitation reforms and the implementation of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which entered into force in February 2017,” Ms Chanda says.
This is against a background of more than 140 WTO members that have ratified the Agreement on Trade Facilitation and are currently implementing its provisions, in many cases with the assistance of international organizations, including UNCTAD.

However we also hark back to what former US ambassador to the UN Mr Andrew Young said of African gatherings.
Mr Young praised Africans for organising prodigious meetings which also produce brilliant resolutions but which unfortunately always find themselves on the shelves to gather dust. They lack follow up action.
But it is our hope that Zambia will come out of this meeting much sager to push for increased trade for the benefit of Zambians who are currently wallowing in abject poverty.
This it must do because it has been noted that Sub-Saharan African countries have the lowest trade among themselves compared with other regions.

Intra-regional trade is estimated at about 10 percent for Africans compared with 40percent in North America and 60percent in Western Europe.
Africa is today suffering because of a host of shortcomings that limit trade and these include non-tariffs barriers, red tape and inadequate infrastructure as well tariff barriers which remain high outside areas covered by the agreements.
So for Zambia and other African countries to unlock this potential, they should focus more on trade facilitation, including the simplification and upgrading of trade procedures.

We think that way trade integration between African countries can yield significant economic gains for the betterment of the citizens.
It has also been noted that informal trade in Africa is pervasive for agricultural goods as well as many industrial goods with those in informal and registered businesses escaping trade rules and duties which is detrimental to creating sound trade policies.

We also think that trade facilitation can also create an enabling environment for foreign direct investment (FDI) which Zambia badly needs for obvious reasons.
True, free trade in Africa is an important goal but not easy to achieve and it is our hope that the resolutions from the seventh session of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will not be left to gather dust on shelves because action speaks louder than words.
ENHANCE TRADE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
IN seeking to boost trade and economic growth, Zambia and other African countries will need to produce more textiles and other manufactured goods.
It is for this purpose that, regional economic communities (RECs), such as ECOWAS, COMESA, and SADC have been created over the last few decades.
But despite the formation of these bodies, it would appear the share of internal trade in Africa remains low, again this is not withstanding many regional trade agreements that have led to tariffs removal within the trading blocs.
Admittedly, expansion of trade among sub-Saharan African nations remains key to faster growth and development to the benefit of all their citizens.
There is no doubt however, that to unlock this potential, countries like Zambia will have to focus more on trade facilitation, including the simplification and modernization of trade procedures.
Therefore, to learn today that Zambia is among other African countries attending the seventh session of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland meant to enhance sustainable trade is a bolstering development.
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry public relations officer Godfrida Chanda says Government is being represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Kayula Siame.
Ms Chanda says the seventh session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation is currently taking place in Switzerland and will end today May 9.
“This meeting will be a follow-up on the discussions at the sixth session that focused on trade logistics and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
“In adding, the seventh session will investigate in greater detail how trade facilitation and transit can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development,” she says
The meeting, she said, will provide an opportunity to among other matters, discuss the development related to trade facilitation and transit issues and share experiences, including by reviewing best practices associated with new and rapidly evolving technological developments.
“Discussions will focus on general trade facilitation reforms and the implementation of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which entered into force in February 2017,” Ms Chanda says.
This is against a background of more than 140 WTO members that have ratified the Agreement on Trade Facilitation and are currently implementing its provisions, in many cases with the assistance of international organizations, including UNCTAD.
However we also hark back to what former US ambassador to the UN Mr Andrew Young said of African gatherings.
Mr Young praised Africans for organising prodigious meetings which also produce brilliant resolutions but which unfortunately always find themselves on the shelves to gather dust. They lack follow up action.
But it is our hope that Zambia will come out of this meeting much sager to push for increased trade for the benefit of Zambians who are currently wallowing in abject poverty.
This it must do because it has been noted that Sub-Saharan African countries have the lowest trade among themselves compared with other regions.
Intra-regional trade is estimated at about 10 percent for Africans compared with 40percent in North America and 60percent in Western Europe.
Africa is today suffering because of a host of shortcomings that limit trade and these include non-tariffs barriers, red tape and inadequate infrastructure as well tariff barriers which remain high outside areas covered by the agreements.
So for Zambia and other African countries to unlock this potential, they should focus more on trade facilitation, including the simplification and upgrading of trade procedures.
We think that way trade integration between African countries can yield significant economic gains for the betterment of the citizens.
It has also been noted that informal trade in Africa is pervasive for agricultural goods as well as many industrial goods with those in informal and registered businesses escaping trade rules and duties which is detrimental to creating sound trade policies.
We also think that trade facilitation can also create an enabling environment for foreign direct investment (FDI) which Zambia badly needs for obvious reasons.
True, free trade in Africa is an important goal but not easy to achieve and it is our hope that the resolutions from the seventh session of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will not be left to gather dust on shelves because action speaks louder than words.

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