SUN REPORTER writes
GOVERNMENT has indicated that even though the trade between Zambia and South Africa remains buoyant, it is heavily skewed in favour of South Africa.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma MP was speaking at the official opening of the South Africa Zambia Trade and Investment virtue seminar held under the theme ‘Developing Afrocentric solutions and Foreign Partnerships in response to Covid 19’.
Zambia’s imports and exports from and to South Africa stood at US$ 2.2 billion and US$298 respectively while South Africa’s imports and exports to Zambia stood at US$182 million and US$1.7 billion respectively in 2019.
In a statement issued by acting Manager Communications and Public Relations Kabwe Phiri, the Commerce minister called on both Zambia and South Africa to work out business models that will see more valued products being exported from Zambia to South Africa.
The Minister explained that the despite a good number of trade agreements that have been signed between the two countries to foster trade and investments, the market created by the numerous agreements still face barriers that limit opportunities for trade and investment.
“Our role as government is to provide solutions to these challenges by facilitating the right environment for both public and private sector to thrive,” explained Mr. Yaluma.
“I am calling on my counterpart in South Africa to help ease the sanitary and phytosanitary measures that inhibit export of goods to South Africa such as quails, melons, chilies and avocado among others,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Africa Depute Minister for Trade, Industry and Competition Ms Nomalungelo Gina says Zambia is one of South Africa’s major trading partners in Africa adding that the two countries enjoy an historical partnership that has been forged and refined in the battle for our political, social and economic emancipation over many decades.
Ms. Gina notes that the virtual trade and investment seminar between the two countries is taking place at a critical moment due to the unprecedented challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And speaking at the same event, the Zambia Development Acting Director General Cosam Ngoma says the Agency stands ready to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.
Mr. Ngoma explained that the Agency is ready to facilitate investments in the priority sectors of government which include agriculture, manufacturing, energy, tourism and infrastructure development which is also key in facilitating trade.