The Zambia Association of Manufacturers(ZAM) has appealed to the European Union to support Zambian manufacturers to access the European Market by removing all non-tariff barriers that are blocking access to the European Market.
The Association President, Ashu Sagar said the conflict in Ukraine has provided an opportunity for businesses to look for alternative sources in the supply chain, including the local market and has called on the EU delegation to assist the Zambian manufacturers to leverage on this opportunity.
“While we know that the recent changes in Europe regarding the crisis with war has woken us up to look for alternative supply chains from our region as well,” he said
Mr. Sagar said the European Banking Authority EBA provides an opportunity for free trade in the European market and has called on the EU to ensure that the provisions of the EBA are emphasized in all platforms and help the manufacturers add value to their products and resources as they go back to Europe.
He has further appealed to the EU to help build knowledge and skills capacity by Zambian businesses to help them produce quality that meets the standards of the European market.
“Let us look towards building capacity in knowledge of developing the products and the quality that is required in the European Union. If we look to trade with that kind of incentive when we build our economies, when we build from this forum we definitely must look at the low hanging fruit,” he added
Mr. Sagar said this during the Zambia Association of Manufacturers presentation at the on-going Zambia-EU economic forum in Lusaka yesterday.
Meanwhile, Bankers Association of Zambia President, Mizinga Melu said the financial sector is ready to provide financial support to the business community in the various sectors to enable them succeed and contribute to economic growth.
Mrs. Melu has thanked the president for facilitating the forum as it sets to build strong relationships between Zambia and the European Union, which she said is important for the growth of the economy.
“As you rightly said Mr. President, Zambia is open for business and indeed may I say the Zambia financial sector which I represent this morning is open for business to facilitate economic growth.
She says Zambia’s investor confidence has grown over time as evidenced by the positive engagements with International Monetary Fund IMF and other positive economic changes such as the stabilized foreign exchange rates and the reduced inflation rates.
Mrs. Melu pointed out five key areas of access including; access to affordable finance, long term financing, access to local and international market, access to skills and business development and access to Business to Business and Business to the Government as the critical access areas necessary to facilitate growth of the private sector and pledged support to the government on their economic transformation plan.
She was speaking when she gave a vote of thanks during the on-going Zambia-EU Economic forum in Lusaka yesterday.