Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry

Trade Facilitation is essential for enhancing the competitiveness and productivity of the manufacturing sector in Zambia, which contributes about 11% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs over 300,000 people. Notably, trade facilitation is the simplification, harmonization and modernization of trade procedures and processes to reduce the time and cost of cross border trade.

It is for this reason that the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and First National Bank Zambia (FNB) hosted a Trade Facilitation Conference on 4th April, 2024 dubbed “Enhancing Zambia’s Trade to SADC and COMESA regions.” The conference provided a platform for ZAM members, policy makers, regulators, trade experts and other stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities of trade facilitation in Zambia and the region.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Hon. Chipoka Mulenga MP officially opened the conference and commended ZAM and its partners for their tremendous work and support towards the organization of the conference.

Hon. Mulenga indicated that the Trade Facilitation Conference was timely as it aligns with Governments Agenda of promoting and increasing Zambia’s Non-Traditional Exports.

“Government places high priority on the manufacturing sector as highlighted in the Vision 2030, the 8th National Development Plan and various national strategies in our pursuit towards becoming a middle-income country. Ensuring sustained employment creation, economic diversification and growth of investments in the domestic economy remains our key focus,” said Hon. Mulenga.

The Minister further said that Government is cognizant of the urgent need to address the various barriers to trade that local producers are faced with that hinder their ability to conduct business effectively and therefore, discussions on trade facilitation and market access are a matter of great importance.

The Conference was also attended by the Permanent Secretary represented by Director Foreign Trade, Dr. Simon Ng’onga, USAID/Zambia Mission Director, Mr. Peter Wiebler and FNB Head, Business and Commercial Banking, Mr. Kabanda Lilanda among others.

The Conference consisted of a High Level Inter Ministerial Dialogue, a presentation on the status quo in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and another presentation on enhancing border coordination and infrastructure by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development alongside Ministry of Transport and Logistics. 

The Conference was aimed to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance and benefits of trade facilitation for the manufacturing sector and economy and also enhance ZAM members and other stakeholders’ capacity and skills to implement trade facilitation reforms using innovative and sustainable approaches.