THE Zambia Association of Manufactures (ZAM) has implored Government to consider increasing internal taxes on imports from Zimbabwe to create a level playing field for trade following that country’s decision to restrict its imports.
ZAM president Rosetta Chabala said in an interview that some Zambian companies such as Trade Kings whose exports to Zimbabwe were currently around US$20 million dropped to below US$10 million.
“There are some Zambian companies that are exporting in excess of US$20 million and now they are underway around US$10 million and that becomes a big problem for these companies.
“Government should also increase tax. Why should we be nice when they are not nice to us? Impose taxes on products coming from Zimbabwe. This is very detrimental to trade,’’ she said.
Ms Chabala noted that ZAM did not welcome Zimbabwe’s decision as it was being unfair to other countries, hence calling on Government to reconsider the decision if that country was not ready to call off the move.
“We do not welcome that move. If they cannot retract on that, I think it’s time our Government also retaliate because we cannot be accepting their products here whilst they are imposing certain restrictions on the imports in their country,” she said.
She said many Zambian companies had resorted to move some of their operations somewhere because their business had gone down due to the restriction which blocked and increased internal taxes such as customs duty on imports.
“If they do that and think they cannot retract that, we must do the same to their products so that their products cannot come into this country so that we have a level playing field because where others are accepting products duty free others are not.
“You will find that companies such as trade kings have resorted to move some of their operations somewhere which basically means that Zambia is losing out,” she said.