Government has urged cross border traders in the country to take advantage of the repositioned cooperatives department in order to grow their businesses.
Ministry of commerce trade and Industry chief economist Sunday Chikoti said cooperatives provide realistic opportunities to enhance trade and spur business growth for serious minded traders.
Mr Chikoti explained that government has realised that the cooperative movement in the country has been agro oriented and has not being treated as a viable business approach.
And Mpulungu District Commissioner Dennis Sikazwe expressed optimism that Trade Information Desks (TID’s) will boost cross border trade in the great lakes region.
Mr Sikazwe observed that business is booming as a result of the growing demand of Zambian goods by the DRC, Burundi and Tanzania.
He said his office will support the establishment of a TID in Mpulungu and lobby for reduction of trade tariffs for cross border traders.
Mr Sikazwe said the TID will help increase the country’s revenue being generated at Mpulungu harbour.
And while addressing cross border traders in Mpulungu district, Mr Chikoti said government remains committed to utilising cooperatives as a vehicle to promoting and facilitating local and foreign trade.
He assured the locals that government will continue to engage neighbouring governments in order to address prevailing trade imbalances.
And speaking at the same meeting cross border traders association (CBTA) Chairman Charles Kakoma said the introduction of Trade Information Desks (TIDs) will streamline and enhance cross border trade in the country and region.
Mr Kakoma disclosed that government with the support of the European Union and COMESA has committed K970,000.00 for the establishment of TIDs at Mpulungu, Nakonde and Luangwa border posts.
He said government has mandated the CBTA to establish TIDs in all border towns across the country by 2020.
Among the benefits of the TIDs is that cross border traders are exempted from paying customs duty on selected imported goods amounting to US $2,000.00 produced locally in Zimbabwe and Malawi.