Lusaka, Friday, March 24, 2017: Enterprise Mauritius, the national agency responsible for promoting and developing the local exports sector organized a two day buyers-sellers meeting in Lusaka whose objective was to develop business links with their counterparts in Zambia.
Eight entrepreneurs from Mauritius participated in the meeting and a trade exhibition hosted as part of the trade initiative from 23 to 24 March 2017.
The Mauritius-Zambia buyers-sellers meeting offered a rare platform for local businesses to obtain new deals and further increase export and trade with Mauritius in different industry sectors.
Zambia’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe said the initiative will spur trade between the two countries which has in the past three years recorded a negative trend.
“As a government, we will continue to uphold our commitment towards regional and continental integration in order to achieve a sustainable, diversified and competitive domestic and export-led economy,” the Minister said in a statement presented by the Director of Cooperatives Mr Shadreck Mungala.
The major exports to Mauritius from Zambia are agriculture products dominated by raw cane sugar. Zambia imports include medium oils, crude Soya bean oils and chemicals among others.
The Minister said the Zambian government has been providing targeted incentives in designated areas such as multi-facility economic zones, rural areas and in priority sectors to attract investment promote growth in the manufacturing sector.
Speaking at the same function, Director of Trade and Customs at COMESA Secretariat Dr Francis Mangeni urged the two Member States to fully utilize the COMESA rule-based Free Trade Area, trade facilitation programs, industrial and infrastructure programs as well as the financial institutions.
“There are several instruments for trade facilitation such as the single administrative document, customs document, automated system for customs data, yellow card, regional customs bond guarantee scheme, carriers license all of which can be used to boost trade,” he assured the business people.
He said COMESA has prioritized trade facilitation, developed simple and flexible Rules of Origin as well as a dynamic system for elimination of non-tariff barriers
The Director described the Mauritius – Zambia initiative as a mutually supportive economic engagement which will assist in jobs and wealth creation, and therefore peace and prosperity through increasing trade and investment.
“Mauritius is increasingly pivoting its commercial diplomacy into Africa and vigorously seeking business opportunities while Zambia has for some time now prioritized diversification of the economy and of export markets away from copper,” Dr Mangeni said.
Enterprise Mauritius Manager Dr Honita Cowaloosur expressed hope that the Zambia-Mauritius buyers-sellers meeting would spur bilateral trade.