The China International Import Expo (CIIE) currently underway in Shanghai is a great opportunity for enhancing international development, said economic and development experts in Zambia.
The experts expressed happiness at China’s move to further open up its market to products from all over the world.
President of Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) Lubinda Haabazoka, expressed hope that the expo would help increase a wide range of Zambia’s exports to China.
“This is something new and welcome. It would make the rest of the world to open up their markets also,” said Haabazoka.
He explained that Zambia stands to benefit a lot from exporting products to China, given the size of the population of that country.
“We just need to work out ways of tapping into that big market,” he said.
Haabazoka observed that the expo should have attracted a lot more Zambian companies than it has now and that going forward, companies should invest more in learning about the Chinese market so that they can take advantage of the gaps.
He added that the expo will enhance trade because “We are not only going to see China exporting finished products to Africa, Africa will start exporting both raw and finished products to China and that is a win-win situation that we would want to see,” he said.
Haabazoka stressed that the expo shows that China is opening up, which is in the spirit of the World Trade Organization.
Dr. Rose Fumpa-Makano, an international development consultant, called on Zambian manufacturers to strive to produce world class products that can compete favorably on the international market.
“Zambia has a lot of organic foods that go to waste because of lack of proper export mechanisms,” said Fumpa-Makano. “Our mangoes and watermelons are organic and some of the best in the world.”
“We also need to increase the tonnage in terms of exporting of our honey, which is among the best produced in the world,” said Fumpa-Makano.
The mushrooms and other wild and cultivated fruits and vegetables go to waste every year when such can be harnessed and exported, said Fumba-Makano, who is a lecturer at Dag Hammarskjold Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at The Copperbelt University in Zambia.
She commended the Chinese government for opening up its market, saying “some regions are protectionists, but the Chinese have opened up theirs. That is a good thing because the world is about interdependence. You cannot produce all you need.”
The experts further pointed out that expo will also help to promote world economic development by encouraging more regions to do away with protectionist trade measures that are not helpful in advancing global economic growth.