THE Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has urged Government to expedite with caution the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
CTPD Researcher Trade and Development Emmanuel Muma pointed out that the AfCFTA offers opportunities for Zambia galvanise and stimulate post-pandemic economic recovery and foster economic growth in the medium to long term.
Mr Muma added that the Free Trade Area also promotes the creation of a larger and more integrated market whilst supporting diversification efforts and industrialization through promotion of intra-Africa trade.
He said Intra-Africa trade is expected to expand by more than 80 percent and add to about US$60 billion to African exports
Mr Muma notes that Government through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI) must implement the AfCFTA national implementation strategy in order to protect the interest of the local industries and offer business incentives.
He pointed out that CTPD expects Government to enhance efforts towards advancing market infrastructure and the implementation of ‘One Stop Border Post’ and online mechanisms for reporting and monitoring unfair trade practices and non-tariff barriers (NTBs).
He added that these checks should be at key border posts like Kasumbalesa, Democratic Republic of the Congo to increase revenue collection from foreign exchange earnings.
Muma believes in measures capable of reduce the financing gap towards Zambia’s post-pandemic economic recovery and foreign debt servicing.