COMMON Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) have signed a £2.7million project called the COMESA virtual trade facilitation system (CVTFS) which will help facilitate transaction processes at the ZRA.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda said the overall objective of the project was to enhance Zambia’s participation in regional economic integration specifically through support to Zambia’s private sector.
Mr Chikwanda explained that the project will greatly benefit the economy at large in terms of improving revenue collection and minimizing the cost of doing business in the country.
He added that Zambia continued to use COMESA instruments to improve facilitation in the region which would provide an effective transaction of goods and cargo
‘’The overall objective of the project is to enhance Zambia’s participation in regional economic integration specifically through support to Zambia’s private sector. This recognizes that it is the private sectors that have to produce and trade through their economic operators in the region. The total eligible cost of this project which the contracting authority undertakes to finance is £2.7m, a combination of £1.5m as approved by the COMESA fund ministerial committee and E1.2m as approved by the 10th COMESA on December 9, 2014,’’ Mr Chikwanda said.
He said the project will also support the implementation of the COMESA regional decisions and also serve to support Zambia’s efforts to better integrate into the regional market under COMESA.
Meanwhile, COMESA secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said this project is an electronic system that will enhance the ZRA to achieve and improve transparency and to control the movements of national and international cargo. And ZRA Commissioner General Berlin Msiska emphasized that the agency will take advantage of this system and be more transparent. Mr Msiska noted that the system will greatly help in controlling the movements of national and international cargo.