Lusaka, Friday, 24 Aug 2018:Stakeholders from the public and private sector in Zambia have been trained in using the World Banks’ Tariff Reform Impact Simulation Tool (TRIST) model to assess the impact of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) on the Zambian Economy.

The two-day training was organised by the Statistics Unit at COMESA Secretariat after a request for technical assistance from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI) of Zambia.

TRIST is a useful tool for policy makers on the adjustment impacts of reducing tariffs and it is hoped that the outcome of the trainingwill help the participants enhance ability to analyse the short-term impacts of the CFTA on the Zambian Economyas well as enhancing regional integration.

The training workshop was facilitated by Ms. Njeleka Malata, a consultant working in the Statistics Unit. She explained the objectives of the workshop as building capacity for policy analysts in using TRIST through increasing understanding of the underlying conceptual framework of TRIST and through practical on-site exercises, allow participants to conduct simulations. Participants were given chance to interpret simulation results of the short-term impacts on customs revenue, industry protection, trade diversion as well as identifying any sensitive products in the envisaged intra-African trade agreement.

Participants were from MCTI, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Ministry of National Development and Planning, Ministry of Tourism and Arts, National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), Zambia Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) and Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM).

Mr. Titus Nxumalo, Trade Policy Analyst from the MCTI expressed great appreciation to the Secretariat for the timely intervention as Zambia prepares for trade negotiations. He added that the TRIST results would assist in properly guiding the impact analysis studies to assess quantitatively the implications of proposals for trade liberalization under the CFTA.

The Statistics Unit at COMESA Secretariat does provide training on the TRIST model and underlying data issues.