Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Zambia Malawi trade simplified

Zambia Malawi trade simplified
Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 9:15

Commerce minister Felix Mutati (right)
ZAMBIA and Malawi are expected to launch a simplified trade regime this week.

The simplified regime is a new system developed in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to ease the cost of doing business among cross-border traders.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Felix Mutati and his Malawian counterpart are expected to launch the system on Friday.

Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Buleti Nsemukila disclosed this in an interview in Lusaka on Monday.

He said regulations and guidelines surrounding trade across borders have been so complicated and mostly are understood only by people with huge businesses, hence the introduction of the simplified trade regime.

“Now you cannot apply the same system to people dealing with less than US$1,000 in goods, so this system that has been developed in collaboration with COMESA will simplify the trade regime. This is where a trader with less than US$500 worth of goods can fill in a simple form to pass,” he said.

He said Government wants to help traders use the border post instead of them evading customs because of challenges and guidelines they continue to face.

“So we are encouraging them to use these border posts because it is so simplified that it will not take much of their time. In fact, they will be assisted much more in doing business,” he said.

Dr Nsemukila said the system will first be piloted between the two countries before being replicated at other border posts across the country.

He said that there are five areas of doing business reforms under the private sector development programme and that these are starting a business, registering business, registering property, access to credit and trade across borders.

Dr Nsemukila said Government had discovered that there is a lot of trade among Zambia’s neighbouring countries, particularly small-scale trade across borders.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

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