Zambia to engage President Ramaphosa over trade imbalance

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Zambia to engage President Ramaphosa over trade imbalance

THE SouthernTIMES Mar 20, 2018

    > Jeff Kapembwa

    Lusaka – The resignation of Jacob Zuma, and the subsequent election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the president of South Africa has given Zambia impetus to balance trade ties and strengthen the bilateral relationship with the regional economic powerhouse.  

    Zambian President Edgar Lungu commended the election of Ramaphosa and hopes that will not only help strengthen the bilateral relationship but also resolve the trade imbalances that have disadvantaged Zambia, according to presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda.

    Zambia’s trade deficit with South Africa is in the ratio of 1: 50 with the latter earning US$3 billion more than Zambia through exports to the former.

    Besides copper and other mineral-related products, Zambia exports over 200 different products that include sugar and cotton to South Africa but fetch a lowly US$17 million to US$22 million annually in export revenue.

    The total value of trade between the two southern African countries stands at US$2.8 billion, which is tilted in favour of South Africa accounting for over US$2.4bn, according to latest data released by the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry.

    The imbalance means that Zambia plays a big role in the economic development of South Africa through goods and services ranging from toothpicks to razor blades, and from bananas to chickens.

    South Africa does not recognise the Zambia Bureau of Standards, thus other Zambian products that are certified by the bureau are not allowed to penetrate the market.

    South Africa has an overly strict phytosanitary policy that has been making it almost impossible for certain Zambian products to enter that market.

     

    These barriers, Zambia believe are intended to ensure the South Africa manufacturing industry enjoys good local as well as foreign markets at the expense of Zambian products.

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