Updated on : 28-02-2020
Government says the Zambia Trade Information Portal, which is a collection of all trade regulations enforced by the various Zambian government agencies, will enable traders access information required to complete and comply with import, export or transit requirements for Zambia.
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary Mushuma Mulenga says this platform will create transparency on various trade regulations, reduce trade costs and assist Zambia to implement its obligation under the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary said this in Lusaka on Wednesday during the launch of the Beta Version Zambia Trade Information Portal (ZTIP).
“May I take this opportunity to thank the Government of the United States of America, through USAID Southern African Trade and Investment Hub for their support towards the development of the Zambia Trade Information Portal and for hosting this Meeting. May I also express my gratitude to the World Bank for providing the toolkit/ that has facilitated the development of the Trade Portal,” he said.
“As you may already be aware, Zambia ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in December 2015 and this Agreement came into force in February, 2017. Specified in the Trade Facilitation Agreement are requirements for all WTO Member States to publish and make available through the internet, trade information in a transparent manner that will enable Traders, Governments, Businesses and other interested parties access trade related information easily.”
Mr. Mulenga stressed that that the implementation of the Trade Portal just like any other trade facilitation initiative, will involve a multi-stakeholder approach aimed at strengthening implementation of the Portal and ensuring that there is ownership amongst the partner agencies to enable the smooth and effective running of the platform.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has taken the initiative of establishing a Steering Committee for the Portal which is composed of both public and private sector institutions to provide oversight and policy guidance on the efficient operationalization and maintenance of the Portal,” said Mr. Mulenga.
“I wish to inform you that among the immediate deliverables by the Steering Committee leading to the official launch of the ZTIP at the end of May, 2020 will be a sustainability plan to ensure that the platform stays relevant to the intended beneficiaries. It is of paramount importance that implementation of the Portal continues beyond the life-cycle of support currently being provided by the Government of the United States of America, through USAID Southern African Trade and Investment Hub.”
Mr. Mulenga further stated that the Ministry has therefore, taken cognizance of the need to equip officials with the necessary skills to efficiently manage the Portal.
He added that for this reason, a core team from the Ministry has been identified to undergo training on content upload before the end of February 2020 to enable the timely provision and of update information onto the portal.
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