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NTBS IN CHIRUNDU

 

MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, TRADE AND INDUSTRY

 GOVERNMENT TACKLES NTBS AND OTHER TRADE OBSTACLES HINDERING TRADE

Chirundu, 9th October, 2019…The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Permanent Secretary-Mushuma Mulenga says the rise in Non-Tarrif Barriers (NTBs) has adverse effect Government’s effort to inclusively create decent jobs and wealth for all, especially the marginalized groups such as women, youths and disabled persons.

Mr. Mulenga noted that it is cognizant of the rise in the number of NTBs that traders are facing in the different corridors.

This was contained in a speech delivered on his behalf by a Senior Economist, Mwamina Ngwale during yesterday’s Training of Trainers, Non-Tariff Barriers SMS Tool Launch and Online Reporting, Monitoring and Eliminating Mechanism for NTBs Training Workshop in Chirundu.

Mr. Mulenga explained that the objective of the works was is to build capacity of stakeholders on COMESA Regulations on Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and how to utilise the short messaging (SMS) tool and the online reporting and eliminating mechanism for NTBs.

Mr. Mulenga expressed optimism that the SMS platform being launched today becomes a success by reducing and helping resolve NTBs, for the benefit of the private sector including traders and producers, among others.

“It is our hope that the representatives of the private sector will widely disseminate the knowledge from this workshop to their membership in order fully utilize the platform”, he emphasised.

And speaking earlier on behalf of Dr. Francis Mangeni, Director, Trade and Customs COMESA Secretariat, Ms. Jane Kibiru noted that Zambia being a founding Member of COMESA, has been active in regional integration activities and is among the first Member States to launch the NTBs SMS tool.

Dr. Mangeni said Intra-COMESA exports have risen from $1.5 billion in 2000 when the Free Trade Area (FTA) was established to $10.3 billion in 2018 adding that Zambia recorded 30% growth in intra-COMESA total exports from US$ 921 million in 2017 to US$ 1,202 million in 2018 accounting for 11.7% of the intra COMESA export market share and the highest intra-COMESA import share of 17.4%.

“In order to make it easy to report NTBs, and especially for the small-scale traders, an SMS Reporting, Monitoring and Resolution mechanism has been developed which is user friendly and less costly,” he mentioned.

Dr. Mangeni disclosed that the SMS tool has been launched in Comoros and Zambia will be the second Country to launch the tool which will be hosted and managed at the national level.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Mangeni expressed gratitude to the cooperating partners, the African Development Bank which funded the development of the SMS reporting, monitoring and resolution mechanism and the European Union, for providing resources through the 11th EDF programme under which this training was funded.

 

Godfrida Chanda

PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, TRADE AND INDUSTRY

+26097871111

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