Zambia validates updated trade policies with help from UNCTAD

08 May 2015

Zambia's trade is dominated by the export of a primary commodity - copper - so the Government is looking at ways to diversify sources of revenue, add value to exports and build a resilient economy for its citizens.

Flowers for export in Zambia
Zambia is an exporter of fresh horticulture produce - cut flowers and vegetables

UNCTAD has been supporting the government of Zambia to update its commercial and trade policy framework.

On 9 to 10 April 2015, representatives from UNCTAD were among over 40 participants at a workshop in Lusaka that validated the latest outcome of this process, a study by UNCTAD.

Major issues affecting Zambia's economy and trade, and possible policy responses, were discussed by participants of the workshop, which was chaired by Lillian Bwalya, Zambia's Director of Trade in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

The issues included promoting export value addition and trade in services, harnessing regional trade, maintaining stable macro-economic measures, preservation of policy space in global and regional rule making, using trade as a tool for industrialization, among others.

Recommendations resulting from the study, and the multi-stakeholder deliberations, included the following:

  • Harnessing regional trade for export diversification and value addition.

  • Ensuring that trade in services was an important policy option to diversify and add value to exports considering that Zambia depends largely on exports of goods.

  • Developing the supply and productive aspects of services trade.

  • Reducing the costs of trade especially in transport.

  • Directing foreign direct investment in export value addition.

UNCTAD supports countries' efforts to assess and formulate national trade policy frameworks. As well as to Zambia, such assistance has been provided to Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Jamaica, Angola and Namibia.