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Tripartite Free Trade critical to regional & continental integration

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The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) says Zambia’s decision to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA) is a commendable step towards increased regional integration in Africa and continental integration.

CTPD Researcher Emmanuel Muma said the centre has urged Government to continue consultations with local industries, private sectors players and civil society organizations to review and plan for the potential benefits and costs of the TFTA.

Mr Muma said CTPD also thinks that the operationalization of the TFTA and Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA will create opportunities for bigger export growth, value addition, sector specific growth & diversification to take advantage of.

He said it will also give consumers and industrial buyers a wider selection of goods and services not available beforehand.

Mr Muma said this is an opportunity for buyers to acquire goods and services more cheaply following lowering of trade barriers such as tariffs.

“Despite the envisaged benefits from the TFTA, as well as AfCFTA, Zambia is expected to face increased competition from other international products. This entails that in order to be competitive, the Zambian entrepreneurs and manufacturing sector will have to be positioned to be able to produce quality, competitive and affordable products,” he said.

He said government should continue addressing the current concerns about the low performance of Zambia’s industrial sector and the limited support towards supporting entrepreneur growth.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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