Kasumbalesa border set for upgrade

MINISTER of Agriculture Dora Siliya says Government will soon establish an agriculture and economic zone at Kasumbalesa border to facilitate trading activities on a 24-hour basis.
Ms Siliya said there is need to seize the huge market potential offered by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The DRC is an important market for Zambian products and services. It is a huge market and is also accessible making it a priority destination for Zambian agricultural exports. We want to see trading activities being undertaken on a 24-hour basis.
“Plans are underway to construct an agricultural trading and economic zone at the border with DRC in Chililabombwe that will result into normalising of trading activities in the area. Issues of smuggling should end once the facility is established,” she said in a recent interview.
And according to a concept paper titled: ‘Congo DR – A strategic market for Zambia’ compiled by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Government is making interventions to operationalise bilateral trade agreements with Angola and the DRC for the establishment of trade centres at borders of major non-traditional markets.
It states that the Katanga Province in the DRC has continued to be a key export market for Zambian non-traditional export (NTE) products.
“In 2015, the DRC market wolfed US$574.8 million worth of Zambian products against US$802.6 million recorded in 2014 for non-traditional export earnings. The foregoing accounted for a decrease of 28 percent in comparison to 2014.
“To enhance Zambia’s presence in the DRC and to maintain a foothold in that market, the ZDA has been undertaking trade missions and exhibitions with the aim of increasing the number of companies that have an understanding of the size and dynamics of the Congo market,” it stated.
The major export products to the DRC include sugars and sugar confectionery, salt, sulphur, lime and cement, plastics and plastic articles; other products are inorganic chemicals, precious metal compounds, milling products, starches, dairy products, eggs, honey, edible animal products, essential oils, soaps, lubricants and candles.

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