KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
ZAMBIA has been urged to ‘up its game’ in the quest to tap into the South African market if it is to fully benefit from trading with that country.
South Africa’s High Commissioner to Zambia Sikose Mji said Zambia needs to prioritise its trade relations by devising a plan that will enable it to tap into that market to ensure a trade balance.
“Trade more with us. Zambia needs to prioritise its trade relations so that it does not complain of trade deficits,” Ms Mji said at the Zambia-South Africa trade and investment forum yesterday.
The two-day forum is aimed at accelerating investment and trade relations between the two countries.
Zambia’s high commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba is leading 20 companies from various sectors from that country.
The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) notes Zambia has been witnessing trade imbalances, with the country only exporting goods worth US$534 million while South Africa exported goods worth US$2.6 billion in 2015.
At the same occasion, Mr Mwamba said South Africa remains a critical partner in Zambia’s development agenda as demonstrated by the number of companies operating in the country.
He said the country is open for business, and its geographical position creates market for goods with Zambia and beyond.
“Over 100 companies across sectors operate in the country and this demonstrates that we are open for business. There are 35 flights between Zambia and South Africa every week, thus easing the movement of goods and people,” he said.
He also urged investors to accelerate investments into Zambia.
And African Integration and Industrial Development chief director Nigel Evans called for the elimination of trade barriers to accelerate regional integration.