Address cross border hurdles – World Bank

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THE World Bank has said Zambia should address constraints affecting trade with its eight neighbouring countries, to promote economic growth, create employment and reduce poverty in the country.

Speaking during a Conductive seminar on the selected chapter of the Cross Border Trade Facilitation in Zambia in Lusaka yesterday, World Bank senior trade economist Nora Dihel said a significant amount of cross border trade was constrained due to informal channels hence the need to address them.
“Cross border trade between Zambia and its neighbours is constrained due to informal channels. For instance of US$7.7 million monthly value of the small-scale trade at most of the borders, around 40 per cent is informal,” Mr Dihel said.
He said such trade was essential for poverty reduction among the people since the poor were engaged in informal production and trading.
Mr Dihel urged Government to reduce on the number of certificates and other requirements, adding that they were resulting in heavy administrative requirements for the small-scale informal traders.
He said small-scale informal traders paid about 62 per cent more than the large-scale formal traders.
At the same function Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry director of foreign trade, Yvonne Chileshe said informal trade was increasingly becoming vital as it represented a large portion of trade flows.
Ms Chileshe said Government was ready to address most of the challenges facing the traders by introducing policies to formalise the trade.
“There is need to address issues affecting the traders to make the Zambian products competitive and the Government has prioritised trade facilitation on high agenda…” she said.
Ms Chileshe urged the stakeholders to be actively involved and ensure that the document became a working one.

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