Zambia concerned with the trade barriers South Africa has imposed on its products
LusakaTimes.com - Feb 28th 2014, 09:25
Government says it is concerned with the trade barriers South Africa has imposed on some Zambian products and has led to trade imbalances between the two countries, with earnings standing at K5.65 billion per annum.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda said Government was negotiating with South Africa to relax its rules on the export of Zambian products to that country’s market.
Mr Chenda said this in Parliament on Tuesday evening, in a follow up question on why South Africa was not allowing the export of grapes from Zambia on suspicion that they were infested with a pest known as Maconellicoccus Hirsutus.
Patriotic Front (PF) Lupososhi Member of Parliament (MP) Bwalya Chungu asked the minister if the disease existed, but Mr Chenda said laboratory results from Zambia and South Africa had shown that there was not such a thing.
“These are just trade gimmicks that South Africa is doing with us. Laboratory tests conducted both in Zambia and South Africa have proved that this pest does not exist.
“We have, however, continued to negotiate with our counterparts to allow the export of grapes from Zambia in that country,” Mr Chenda said.
Mr Chenda told Parliament that grapes grown in Zambia were being exported to the European Union and consumed by people in that region with no problems at all.
He said this when MMD Liuwa MP Situmbeko Musokotwane questioned if the grapes from Zambia were being exported to other countries.
Earlier Commence Deputy Minister Richwell Siamunene told Parliament that a pest risk assessment was conducted and submitted through the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute and the National Plant Protection Organisation of South Africa and proved that the pest did not exist.
Mr Siamunene said this following a question from United Party for national Development Kalabo Central MP Chinga Miyutu.From LusakaTimes.com
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