The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) is recommending that government addresses the high cost of borrowing as negotiations for the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) are drawing closer to a conclusion.
CTPD is of the view that the high cost of borrowing is negatively affected domestic spending and results in the inadequate flow of credit to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) that poses an adverse effect to the cost of production and makes local products uncompetitive.
Outlining the measures that Zambia should take to benefit from the AFCFTA, CTPD Researcher-Trade and Development Tawila Anamela is also urging the government to stiffen competition and antidumping laws to ensure the liberalization of the markets does not bring rise to anti-competitive practices by foreign players and the dumping of substandard or unwanted goods into the market.
Mr. Anamela says CTPD wants the government to enhance awareness campaigns on market access and quality standards required by regional and international markets.
To the SMEs and other local industry players, CTPD says there must be a deliberate action to consider appropriate business strategies that will ensure the survival of their businesses, such as strategic partnerships and joint venture initiatives that will allow them to focus on their competitive or comparative advantages.
Upon successful conclusion of the AFCFTA, Zambian companies will have the ability to access all regional and continental markets with less regulatory measures and will make it easier for industry players to participate or integrate into the global supply chain, in addition to reducing the overall cost of doing business and providing better efficiencies.