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Exploit trade agreements – PS

ZAMBIA will ensure that the country maximises benefits from the regional economic communities (RECs) and the multilateral trading systems to enhance trade relations globally.
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Siazongo Siakalenge said there are a lot of challenges that African countries face in regard to trade barriers that urgently need to find solutions that will help develop its economies.
Mr Siakalenge said this when he led a delegation to the just-ended African dialogue on managing trade concerns through multilateral and regional trade institutional forum in Switzerland recently.
“The ever changing unwritten and unnotified regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements were some of the problematic concerns identified to impede trade. The process of identifying trade barriers was a complex one requiring the engagement of both the private and public sector.
“In most cases, the private sector especially the small and medium enterprises may face challenges in penetrating certain markets but, are often limited in capacity to define the nature of the barrier to assist the authority concerned to respond effectively,” he said.
Mr Siakalenge said lack of updated information on commitments entered into by governments is depriving most stakeholders of good business transactions.
He said there is need for all RECs to put in place institutional arrangements that can help them resolve trade concerns adding that , “Inadequate capacity and limited financial resources was making it difficult for most African countries to participant in formal dispute cases.”
He also observed that most Africa countries have not utilised the World Trade Organisation dispute settlement system mainly due to lack of capacity at national level.