Address border constraints, Finland urges Zambia

THE Finish government says there is need for Zambia to address constraints in border management to promote trade in the country.

Meanwhile Zambia needs to export goods that meet demand on the international market to promote trade and alleviate poverty in the country, consumer for unity and trust society (CUTS) board chairperson Love Mtesa has said.

Finland embassy counselor of economic growth and private sector development Ville Luukkanen said Zambia should ensure that borders are sealed to become independent areas of trade.

“In order to make Zambia a sovereign area of trade, there is need to ensure that borders are not porous and that they are tightly controlled in terms of imports and exports,” Mr Luukkanen said.

He said infrastructure development at border areas also play a vital role in promoting trade integration.

“There is urgent need to upgrade the information technology (IT) infrastructure to secure information and ensure that all border areas have access to the same information,” he said.

He added that Zambia needs to boost investment in the manufacturing sector to create jobs and gain economic freedom.

He however said that there are constraints to promoting the manufacturing sector which needs to be addressed.

“Constraints such as high cost of labour, unreliable supply of energy, difficult supply of raw materials this has resulted in the importation of raw materials, needs to be addressed to better investment,” he said.

Meanwhile Mr Mtesa said the government should be involved in attaining economic growth by creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

“For trade to be effective, it means a country must produce goods with value addition. For this to be achieved, Government should be actively involved in running the economy,” he said.

He was speaking during a public symposium on trade mainstreaming in national development plans, organised by the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) and the Consumer for Unity and CUTS in Lusaka yesterday.

He said Zambia should emulate other developing countries like Singapore which is has moved from a third world to a first world country due to Government’s active intervention in running the economy.

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