The Ministry of Commerce has urged small and medium scale traders to utilise Trade Information Desks that have been set up at selected border points.
Regional Integration Capacity Building Project – Project Coordinator, Filtone Sandando says the information desks have opened a horizon of opportunities for small scale trade.
Mr. Sandando says a rise in demand for cereals, legumes and tubers has been noted since the establishment of Trade Information Desk at Nakonde.
He says the establishment of information desks at selected border points is part of government’s strategy to enhance small scale trade and end poverty amongst citizens.
Mr. Sandando says the efficiency of small and medium scale trade will largely depend on the full utilization of information desks as they provide timely information on prices, exchange rates and goods which are part of the common list.
He says the list provides guidelines on which goods can be bought in certain volumes but do not attract taxes.
Mr. Sandando noted that significant progress had been made since the implementation of the project.
He cited the growing number of small and medium scale traders that are increasingly aware of the common list of goods that have been agreed with concerned countries at the three border points of Nakonde, Kasumbalesa and Luangwa.
The Regional Integration Capacity Building Project is funded by the European Union through COMESA and is aimed at enhancing trade facilitation between Zambia and other countries in the region.
So far, the EU through COMESA has spent two point one million Euros in the second phase of the project which started in June 2018 and is scheduled to end in November this year.
During the phase, capacity building for a number of government agencies among them ZABS and the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency – ZCSA has been done.
The agencies have been given computers, printers and solar equipment among other equipment to facilitate their easy operations.
The support of equipment has also been extended to the Cross Border Traders Association.