Zambia has celebrated a significant economic triumph, with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) revealing that the recently concluded Trade Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has resulted in successful business deals amounting to a substantial US$13.80 million.
The transactions, which unfolded between the 25th and 27th of October 2023, involved 37 Zambian companies representing a diverse array of sectors, including manufacturing, agro-processing, agriculture, transport, mining, tourism, and construction.
Kwali Mfuni, Head of Communications and Public Relations at the Zambia Development Agency, officially disclosed the achievement in a recent statement.
Of the total, US$6.6 million represents confirmed orders, while an additional US$7.1 million was garnered from promising trade leads. ABSA Bank Zambia Limited played a pivotal role in supporting this initiative, underscoring the collaborative efforts to foster economic ties between the two nations.
The trade transactions encompass a wide spectrum of commodities, ranging from cooking oil, tea, and wild orchids to agrichemicals, insecticides, treated poles, garments, groundnuts, sugar, wooden products, paint, furniture, irrigation equipment, engineering equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPEs).
In addition, services such as transport and logistics, printing, branding, and interior designing attracted significant attention.
Mr. Albert Halwampa, Director General of ZDA, emphasized the strategic significance of Katanga Province as a key market for Zambia. He lauded the efforts at the government level to facilitate ease of trade agreements between the two nations and urged businesses to adopt a collaborative approach.
Mr. Halwampa highlighted the potential benefits of establishing a non-stop border post, anticipating that it would further streamline the movement of goods and lead to increased business transactions.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly Katanga Province, has proven to be a lucrative and accessible market for Zambian non-traditional export products.
The trade volume surged from US$893 million in 2021 to an impressive US$1,599 million in 2022. Notable exports to the DRC include sulphuric acid, non-alcoholic beverages, electrical energy, maize, raw cane sugar, sweet biscuits, quicklime, buttermilk, curdled milk, and cream.
The primary objectives of the Trade Mission included enhancing Zambia’s presence in the Congo DR, increasing awareness among Zambian companies about the size and dynamics of the Congo market, supporting companies in showcasing their products, maintaining the current foothold in the DRC market, establishing new business relations, and facilitating business-to-business meetings between Zambian and Congolese companies.
The success of the mission was attributed to the collaborative efforts of the Federation of Chambers of Katanga (FEC), the Zambian Consulate General Office in Katanga Province, and the Provincial Administration of Katanga on the Congolese side.