Updated on : 22-11-2019
The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in partnership with the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (SATIH) conducted sensitization workshops at four border posts on the Zambia Trade Information Portal. Prior to this, the first sensitization program was conducted in Lusaka at the Radisson Blu Hotel. The program was later conducted in four border towns were Chipata-Mwami, Chirundu, Kazungula-Katima Mulilo and Kasumbalesa.
The institutions that were invited to attend the senstitization workshops were those that had presence at border towns and were involved in the business of export, import and goods in transit. Some of these included the Provincial Chambers of Commerce, the Zambia Revenue Authority, Cross Border Traders Association among others.
The objective of the sensitization was to inform the stakeholders of the Trade Information Portal and solicit feedback from them on the features and information that will be found on the portal.
The participants were informed that a trade portal is a toolkit that enables the development of a website that contains all regulatory trade related information for import, export and transit combining information from all Agencies involved in import/export control such as Customs, Agriculture, Health, Quarantine, Transport and Science/Technology.
The initiative behind the portal project was necessitated by the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA) to which Zambia became a signatory in 2013. Article 2 of the TFA encourages members to make available trade-related information/legislation through the internet. The following are mandatory:
Participants were also informed on the benefits of the portal. Among them were the following:
It was also noted that the Trade Information Portal has had great success in other countries that have implemented it. Countries like Ghana, Malawi, Bostwana and Lesotho have fully functional Trade Information Portals and their portals were used as examples to demonstrate what to will also be found on the Zambian Trade Information Portal. In addition to having trade related information, the portal will have:
Currently, the project is in its implementation phase before the operational phase. It was also noted that secure political will, establishment of multi-agency project governance, strong data exchange mechanism between the ministry and participating agencies and continuous involvement of the private sector for the purpose of updating information will enhance sustainability of the Trade Information Portal.
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