TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
MINISTER of Finance Felix Mutati yesterday assured traders and buyers of grain that Zambia will no longer impose export bans and permits will be simplified to promote trade in the region.
Mr Mutati said from the Zambian perspective what has caused challenges in trade with other countries in the region in the past is the issue of policy and documentation.
Speaking at the Zambia Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE) hosted-regional grain trade facilitation forum yesterday, Mr Mutati urged Zambians to take advantage of the vast trade opportunities for grains in East Africa.
“We have always complained about low trade and failed to facilitate trade among ourselves as African countries and yet we have solutions .This will be the first engagement for me. I am not attending a workshop but to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers.
“We want to assure you now that there will be no more export bans and no more 10 percent export tax and we are going to facilitate the simplification of the documentation for the purpose of exports,” he said.
He also said Government will next week engage with East African countries to boost trade with them.
“We are going to engage our colleagues at government levels so that they [East Africa] also simplify the conformity assessment issue to enable buyers and sellers transact with each other,” he said.
Mr Mutati said simplified trade will ensure that the private sector moves forward and government levels will thrive and create a solution around logistics to be sure that maize can move.