ZAMBIA has signed a trade agreement with Angola for the business community and exporters to provide a free quota and access to most goods produced in the country, says Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe.

She said the Zambia-Angola bilateral trade agreement was signed on January 21st 2016 in Luanda and includes a list of specific goods and services that will be exempted from custom duties of both countries.

‘‘We are in discussions with our counterparts in Angola on the possibility of establishing a dry port at Lobito which should transform Zambia’s market access, giving us access to the eastern seaboard and potentially expand our utilisation of the AGOA initiative,’’ she said.

Ms Mwanakatwe said that DR Congo was one of the largest non-traditional export market for finished products with exports of US$803 million in 2004 and that the streamlining of activities at border crossings was intended to facilitate trade and maximize benefits from the agreement.

Ms Mwanakatwe urged Zambian exporters to take advantage of the trade agreements between Angola and DRC.

‘‘Issues of standards and quality are paramount to us so that we maximise the opportunities that these agreements create and that the implementation of the trade agreements will contribute significantly to job and wealth creation in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors,’’ she noted.

She said Zambia and Angola agreed to establish a joint bilateral trade committee with the task of promoting the development of joint projects and to fight fraud and eliminate non-tariff barriers.

‘‘I also directed the Zambia Bureau of Standards and the Zambia Development Agency to prioritize the expansion of trade into these two markets by providing any facilitation that exports will require,’’ she said.

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