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Zambia Association of Manufacturers Hosts Successful Trade Facilitation Conference

The Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and First National Bank Zambia (FNB), convened a Trade Facilitation Conference aimed at enhancing Zambia’s trade within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions.

Held under the theme “Enhancing Zambia’s Trade to SADC and COMESA regions,” the conference brought together key stakeholders including ZAM members, policymakers, regulators, trade experts, and representatives from various sectors to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities in trade facilitation.

The conference was officially opened by Hon. Chipoka Mulenga MP, the Minister of Commerce, Trade, and Industry, who commended ZAM and its partners for organizing the event. Mulenga emphasized the importance of trade facilitation in promoting and increasing Zambia’s non-traditional exports, aligning with the government’s development agenda outlined in Vision 2030 and the 8th National Development Plan.

“Government places high priority on the manufacturing sector as highlighted in various national strategies, ensuring sustained employment creation, economic diversification, and growth of investments in the domestic economy,” said Hon. Mulenga, underlining the government’s commitment to addressing barriers to trade faced by local producers.

The conference featured a High-Level Inter Ministerial Dialogue and presentations on the status quo of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) implementation by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry, and initiatives for enhancing border coordination and infrastructure by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development alongside the Ministry of Transport and Logistics.

Dr. Simon Ng’ona, representing the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Peter Wiebler, USAID/Zambia Mission Director, and Mr. Kabanda Lilanda, Head of Business and Commercial Banking at FNB, were among the distinguished attendees.

The conference aimed to increase awareness of the importance and benefits of trade facilitation for the manufacturing sector and the economy. It also sought to enhance the capacity and skills of ZAM members and other stakeholders in implementing trade facilitation reforms using innovative and sustainable approaches.

Overall, the Trade Facilitation Conference served as a platform for constructive dialogue and collaboration, highlighting the collective efforts to promote trade and economic growth in Zambia and the wider region.

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