Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry has assures Zambians Congolese importers and exporters of a conducive trade environment between the two Countries.
And the Vice Governor of Haut Katanga Province Jean-Claude Kamfwa Kimimba pledges to work with the Zambian Government to remove trade barriers between Zambia and DR Congo
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary Mushuma Mulenga has assured importers and exporters from Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) of a safe and conducive trade environment between the two countries.
And Vice Governor of Haut Katanga Province Jean-Claude Kamfwa Kimimba has paid glowing tribute to President Hakainde Hichilema for considering DR Congo an important trade partner.
Meanwhile, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Acting Director General Albert Halwampa has disclosed that the Agency is working on modalities for increasing the frequency of trade missions to DR Congo and spreading the trade tentacles to other towns in DR Congo.
Officially opening the Zambia-Democratic Republic of Congo Trade Mission at Hypnose Mall in Lubumbashi, Mr Mulenga disclosed that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Government of Zambia will do everything possible to put in place policies aimed at creating a conducive trade environment.
“I would like to assure the importers and exporters from both countries that the two governments will do everything possible to facilitate trade and put in place policies aimed at ensuring that the private sector conducts business in a safe and conducive environment,” he disclosed.
Mr Mulenga revealed that the Zambian Government and Congolese government had been holding series of bilateral talks to address the trade barriers between the two countries.
“DR Congo remains Zambia’s number one destination market for Non-Traditional Exports with NTEs averaging over US$ 800 million annually,” he said. “Despite these seemingly high export volumes, the two countries have not yet fully reached their peak in trade relations. This is evidenced by the many problems related to cross-border trade at Kasumbalesa Border such as limited operating hours resulting in fleet congestion. In addressing these challenges, our two countries have continued to have bilateral meetings aimed at resolving them. Recently, our two Ministers of Trade met in an effort to find lasting solutions and enhancing trade facilitation.
Mr. Mulenga cited the resolutions of the meeting between the Zambian and Congolese Trade Ministers as increasing operating hours from 12 to 18 hours, simplifying the trade regime in order to facilitate cross-border trade, implementing the Bilateral Trade Agreement signed in 2015, creating special Economic Zones and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements between the two countries.
He thanked the Zambia Development Agency, Zambian Consulate in Lubumbashi, Federation des Entreprises du Congo, Government of Finland, ABSA Bank Zambia PLC and the Accelerated Growth for SMEs in Zambia (AGS Programme) for facilitating the trade mission.
Mr Mulenga urged the Zambian companies to fully exploit the three day trade mission to negotiate trade leads, deals and transactions.
And speaking at his residence in Lubumbashi, when Permanent Secretary Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry Mushuma Mulenga paid a courtesy call on him, Vice Governor of Haut Katanga Province Jean-Claude Kamfwa Kimimba said the decision by President Hakainde Hichilema to consider DR Congo an important trade partner will help the Congolese government to reinforce their resolve to remove trade barriers between Zambia and DR Congo.
Mr Kimimba particularly appreciated the statement by President Hichilema to consider the Congolese as partners and Zambia’s major customers.
Meanwhile, ZDA Acting Director General Albert Halwampa said during the official opening of the Zambia-Democratic Republic of Congo Trade Mission that the Agency had plans to increase the frequency of the trade missions to DR Congo, even spreading tentacles to Kolwezi and Likasi.