Zam­bia in Tri­par­tite Free Trade Area Agree­ment

Zambian Business Times - - BUSINESS REVIEW - By James Nyirenda

Min­is­ter of Com­merce Trade and In­dus­try Hon­or­able Christo­pher Yaluma has said that gov­ern­ment will con­tinue im­ple­ment­ing mea­sures aimed at pro­mot­ing value ad­di­tion and im­prov­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the coun­try in or­der for lo­cal in­dus­tries to take full ad­van­tage of the mar­ket ac­cess be­ing pro­vided through the Tri­par­tite Free Trade Ar­eas ( TFTA).

Dur­ing a sen­si­ti­za­tion meet­ing on the TFTA at Pamodzi Ho­tel in Lusaka, Hon­or­able Yaluma in­di­cated that the sen­si­ti­za­tion meet­ing is part of ef­forts of TFTA to un­der­take out­reach to mem­bers and part­ner states for pur­pose of aware­ness cre­ation on the TFTA and rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

“I have been re­li­ably in­formed that so far, na­tional sen­si­ti­za­tion work­shops on TFTA have been un­der­taken in Malawi, Mada­gas­car, Mau­ri­tius and Botswana and now tak­ing place in Zam­bia. Other coun­tries were sim­i­lar meet­ings are sched­uled to take place in­clude Rwanda, Namibia and Zim­babwe, “he said.

He added that he is de­lighted to in­di­cate that in terms of tar­iff ne­go­ti­a­tions, Zam­bia sub­mit­ted her of­fer to the tri­par­tite task force.

Mr Yaluma nar­rated that for the afore­men­tioned coun­tries, Zam­bia will have bi­lat­eral tar­iff ne­go­ti­a­tion of which it has writ­ten to the con­cerned coun­tries to re­quest for en­gage­ment. And so far, about 3267 tar­rif lines, rep­re­sent­ing 60.6% have now been agreed out of a to­tal of 5387 tar­rif lines.

“In terms of chal­lenges, not many are ex­pected, the neg­a­tive im­pact on lo­cal is ex­pected to be min­i­mal as ef­fec­tively, Zam­bia is al­ready en­joy­ing free trade with 19 of the 26 coun­tries, “Yaluma said.

He rec­og­nized the Euro­pean Union for the fi­nan­cial sup­port ren­dered to the tri­par­tite task force to fa­cil­i­tate host­ing of sen­si­ti­za­tion meet­ings on the TFTA.

Coun­tries that have so far signed the agree­ment in­clude: An­gola, Botswana, Bu­rundi, Co­moros, Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo(DRC), Dji­bouti, Egypt, Eswa­tini, Kenya, Libya, Mada­gas­car, Malawi, Mau­ri­tius, Namibia, Rwanda, Sey­chelles, Su­dan, Tan­za­nia, Uganda, South Africa as well as Zam­bia and Zim­babwe.

Min­is­ter of Com­merce Trade and In­dus­try Hon­or­able Christo­pher Yaluma

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