Trade barriers’ removal soon-Mwanakatwe



Zambia is still in the process of formalising modalities with countries it recently signed trade agreements with in order to remove trade barriers when conducting business, Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe has said.

She explained that it was not automatic that barriers such as paper work and others were immediately reduced when trade agreements were signed between countries.

Ms Mwanakatwe further explained that countries had to follow modalities by drawing up a list for products which would be in the trade agreement.

“I think that when we sign an agreement, the next step is now to sort out the modalities. I think the modalities are being worked on. In two weeks’ time, we are going to Congo DRC to finalise everything on the agreement we signed two months ago,’’ she said.

Responding to concerns by Zambian cross border traders with Malawi, Ms Mwanakatwe said modalities had not yet been agreed upon after recently signing the trade agreement.

She was however quick to say that it would not be a problem to draw a list of products because Malawi was part of Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) regions who shared same rules when conducting cross border trade.

“There should be free movements of goods as per SADC and COMESA so probably the agreement is just to strengthen the relation ties and move our products. Malawi shouldn’t be a problem because it is part of SADC and COMESA regions and we are in that agreement already,

Meanwhile, Ms Mwanakatwe said those complaining that there are still barriers in Zambia’s manufacturing industry must precisely state which hurdles they were talking about so that they could be removed. Ms Mwanakatwe said her job was to remove barriers when conducting business and that was why her ministry was streamlining in such cases as reducing licensing required for business.

“This is why you see us streamlining for example so that there are not too many licences required, but I need to know exactly what these barriers are so that I can respond comprehensively.

“I do not want barriers; I want them out because my job is to remove barriers. What are they and what can I do as a ministry to help them? But we need to do it together with them. I cannot do it on my own,” she said.


2 thoughts on “Trade barriers’ removal soon-Mwanakatwe

  1. I complained about the barriers to trade and free movement of goods due to unskilled corrupt officials at ZRA an ckearing agents who believe who seem to belive that scheming is the way if life, and I would be very grateful if you removed those barriers and indemify me my loss. These are acts of indiscipline, corruption and economic crimes by ZRA officials in collusion with clearing agents. We don’t seem to have a mechanism that can eradicate such crimes within our government as, the ZRA seems to have failed in eradicating barriers to free movement of goods into Zambia. The problem with the majority in such jobs or and those in other government seats, they just look for opportunities of making money illegally in any business venture they engage in. “The tiyeni timulume attitude” has contributed to the down turn of the Zambian economy and people with such attitudes, should blame themselves as having contributed to the economic crisis in Zambia. Like in my case, sending goods from the diaspora,whey the ZRA and SDV clearing agents bit me of my business when I brought in 3 vehicles all at once. I stopped and I spent my money in other countries, like South Africa where it was safe for me to enjoy the value of my money. We need honesty, professionalism and integrity, then stiffer regulation and supervising those that engage in vices that have brought down our economy should be enhanced. SDV and ZRA officials at Chirundu border stole one of my vehicles and cost me well over USD20,000 (which I need the State to reimburse me) because of indiscipline, corruption and thefts tolerated and protected by their superiors. Then wasting other people’s time with their indiscliplne acts. If you cannot indemify your own citizens, how can you guarantee the safety of those that are merely passing their commodities through Zambia, and those that want to do business with Zambia. Charity begins at home , so the old adage says. ZRA and SDV stole my vehicle when such vehicle moved safely from Japan, through South Africa and was only stolen in my own home country. It is pointless to be inviting those that are in the diaspora to invest and bring their money home, when some of us who have done so have been welcomed by banditry which the state has failed to protect and indemify. For instance, how do you keep on inviting investors when crime is increasing and the murder of 3 CHINESE EXECUTIVES is just unacceptable to invite more and then fail to protect their lives. Organized criminality and making money illegally to the detriment of others ought to be looked into as well. The quality of Policing should be mordenized, as it appears as though the current breed, is failing and may be participating in committing crimes instead. Some work so hard but some still appear to have mindsets which are lacking in development, but they instead want to dwell on abuse and distraction, an at which has contributed to the economic crisis as well. If those entrusted with enforcing the laws are seen to be committing crimes, how can they effectively fight the vice. Security and Safety has to be enhanced in this country if we are to get reed of barriers to free trade and movement of goods in this region. Traders and investors are more likely to use other secure routes and invest in countries where their lives are protected. Economic crimes at all levels (from grass roots, blue collared and white collared people) all need to be looked into if we are to safeguard and grow our economy. We need you to hold accountable those that stole from others so as to deter such occurrences as you invite the movement of goods.

  2. I would like to add that Zambians should emulate foreign investors’s integrity and dump their tiyeni timulume attitude of making money illegally from others. They ought not to blame the country’s economic crisis on the Head of State alone, but they should examine their own attitudes and change for the better. ZRA ought to employ people of high integrity, especially at the borders and hold them accountable for the losses they cause the state and others. The more you luma people, the more you cause losses in the revenues, and the more the State owes people money for those losses. Madam Honourable Minister, please remove those barriers by promoting proffesionalism and integrity and in getting tough on crime and enhance regulation to ensure compliance to fair trading standards. The quality of Policing and all other investigatory wings also needs to be worked on.

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