Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS)- International recognise the potential benefits that the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) poses to LDCs for it provide immerse avenues such as mainstreaming trade into LDCs’ national development plans and the whole budgetary process and contribute to the expansion of trade by reducing barriers to both domestic and foreign trade so that they can participate and be integrated into the global economy.
It is with this regard that as CUTS, we would like to urge the various stake holders to speed up the implementation of the EIF in Zambia. Further, although the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) has been completed, there is still need to comprehensively review and update it so that it reflects the current status of the trade sector priorities in Zambia and incorporate areas such as Technical Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Services etc as they are key sectors in the current trading system. Further, mainstreaming of gender into the EIF is also cardinal as women play a pivotal role in trade and development. This is evident from their entrepreneurial spirit that has been particularly active in various sectors of the Zambian economy hence the need to give them appropriate empowerment and encouragement.
Lastly, as Zambia is currently in the process of reviewing the FNDP which comes to an end in 2011, there is also need to utilise this opportunity to harmonise the FNDP with EIF because currently they have different time frames and this could foster negative developments.
Further, CUTS would like to also take this opportunity to urge other bilateral and multilateral donors to emulate Finland’s timely efforts of donating EUROS 1.3 million to the Enhanced Integrated Framework Trust Fund (EIFTF). This valuably donation exemplifies and shows the country’s commitment to helping trade related problems facing LDCs such as Zambia so that they can actively participate in the multilateral trading system.