Namibia, Zambia to revive joint trade committee – The Namibian

NAMIBIA and Zambia have agreed to revive the joint trade and investment committee (JTIC) to strengthen bilateral cooperation on trade, trade-related and investment matters.

The agreement came after the minister of industrialisation and trade, Lucia Iipumbu, held consultations last week with her Zambian counterpart, Chipoka Mulenga, to explore export market opportunities, and to strengthen existing bilateral cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

According to a statement issued by ministry spokesperson Elijah Mukubonda, Iipumbu visited Zambia from 21 to 24 February for consultations with Mulenga on trade, industry and investment.

“The meeting was instrumental in supporting and collectively driving the enhanced trade relations agenda between the two countries,” the statement says, adding that the ministers reached agreements on trade relations, as well as the implementation of policies for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Namibia and Zambia, which are Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, have both signed and ratified the SADC Protocol and Africa Free Trade Area agreements.

Other agreements the ministers reached are that non-tariff barriers (NTBs) are an impediment to trade, and therefore the two countries will practically facilitate a resolution to scrap the NTBs to smoothen trade between them.

As part of enhancing bilateral trade, Namibia sought Zambia’s support on a 45 000-tonne sugar quota allocation to Southern African Customs Union non-sugar-producing countries to avert recurrent sugar shortages at certain times of the year.

The two ministers agreed to expedite the establishment of a one-stop border post at Katima Mulilo/Wenela exit/entry facility to promote trade and investment growth between the two countries, as well as to enhance collaboration between private sector agencies from both countries to facilitate trade and smooth interactions.

Namibia and Zambia also agreed to improve market access for products that include sugar, salt, fish, livestock, meat and meat products, wheat, maize, mealie meal, bran, soya and soya products, sorghum, mangoes, avocados, honey, tomatoes and other products.

The ministers’ meeting was one of many initiatives to enhance trade and strengthen cooperation, as well as to promote investment opportunities between the countries.

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