GOVERNMENT has pledged to continue formulating and implementing reforms aimed at fostering export growth to allow Zambians have access to export markets while stimulating local companies to participate in the economy.
Minister of Commerce and Trade, Margaret Mwanakatwe said Government was cognisant of the fact that it must create a favourable business environment to foster export growth as well as stimulate local companies to participate in the economy.
She was speaking at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) exporter audit dissemination workshop in Lusaka.
In a speech read on her behalf by her permanent secretary Kayula Siame, Ms Mwanakatwe said it was for that reason that Government had been formulating and implementing policies and reforms to not only stimulate the growth of the private sector, but also ensure a broader spectrum of Zambians had access to export market.
Ms Mwanakatwe said some of the policies implemented were the establishment of a single window for trade and creation of the business licencing reform programme.
She said those policies and programmes were aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the private sector and improve the required business climate that fostered sustained economic growth.
She expressed confidence that the creation of the national strategy would be a step towards increasing non-traditional exports.
Meanwhile, ZDA board chairperson Mary Ncube said the agency recognised the need to improve and diversify Zambia’s production and export markets in order to build a more resilient economic base that would create a wealthier economy.
Ms Ncube said ZDA undertook an annual export audit survey in its efforts to monitor and evaluate the performance of the non-traditional exports sector.
“Export development is a priority focus area for ZDA. Export trade, in particular of non-traditional products, has the potential to increase the country’s productive capacity and its competitiveness,” she said.
And Zambia Association of Manufactures (ZAM) chief executive officer Maybin Nsupila said the imposition of non-tariff barriers in Zimbabwe and many countries had led to Zambian exporters losing significant portions of their exports.
Mr Nsupila urged Government to urgently address such non-tariff barriers as they were hampering export trade expansion from Zambia.
“These barriers may just render the on-going integration of African markets under various initiatives an academic exercise without delivering meaningful benefits to citizens in the member states,” he said.