WHEN the United Kingdom announced its decision to withdraw from the European Union, the news was received with mixed
The British government led by then Prime Minister David Cameron held a referendum on the issue on June 23, 2016 to decide the UK’s future in the EU.
And a modest majority voted to leave the EU in a move that shocked the world.
Since then, the world has been watching what will come out of London following the country’s withdrawal from the EU.
Although the world is yet to see the UK’s political ramifications of the withdrawal from the EU amidst speculations, the granting of Zambia and other countries a duty-free entry of all goods other than arms and ammunition into the UK is one of the benefits.
It took the UK to pull out of the euro zone to expand its market for the benefit of Zambia and other least developed countries.
This is a very generous gesture by the UK and we hope that Zambian producers will take advantage of this window to flood the UK markets and earn the country the much-needed foreign exchange.
The UK is a huge market for organic products which Zambia produces in huge quantities.
Now that there is a yawning market in the UK, Zambian organic merchants have an opportunity to produce more for export.
Producers of goods intended for the UK market should be consistent because buyers will always be expectant.
Following the pronouncement by British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane-Dyet on Wednesday in which he demonstrated the UK’s commitment to Zambia’s development, we expect research and marketing institutions to be on guard.
Research and marketing institutions should rise to the occasion in guiding companies and individuals who wish to start exporting their goods to the UK.
Companies interested in tapping into the UK market have to improve packaging of their goods if they are to compete favourably.
This is because there will be 48 countries across the globe that will be itching to benefit from duty-free exports to the UK.
We urge our corporates to take advantage of this open window offered to improve least developed countries’ access to UK markets.
The UK’s commitment to Zambia’s development through increased trade will also enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.
Enhanced trade is also expected to create other spin-off benefits such as job creation and exposure to markets beyond the UK.
Some companies in the service industry such as packaging, transport and export will be created to ensure the country’s efficiency in exporting to the UK.
Zambia has for a long time looked for free and fair trade, which is the greatest liberator of the world’s poor.
Zambian products should easily meet the UK standards.
After all, Zambia is a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which enhances market access for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries to the United States market.