Liberalization consolidated but macroeconomic performance weak
This meeting to review Zambia's trade-related policies has been a
lively one, reflecting the high degree of interest among the Members.
A warm welcome was given to the Zambian delegation that contained
several officials from Lusaka. Members commended Zambia on its
continuing commitment to economic liberalization. They observed how
difficult this had been, given the health problems, the recurrence of
drought, the declining terms of trade, and high production costs.
Members pointed out how serious were the difficulties in the copper
industry, the backbone of the economy of Zambia, a landlocked country.
Noting that the reforms had not yet borne much fruit, Members saw hope
in Zambia's qualification for debt relief under the Enhanced HIPC
initiative and the continued implementation of its Poverty Reduction
Strategy. Good governance, improved competitiveness, economic
diversification and continued structural reforms might help.
stressed that Zambia, like many other developing countries, was
struggling with how best to integrate into the global economy. They
recognized the importance of the Doha Development Agenda to Zambia,
particularly in agriculture. Attention was given to Zambia's
continuing need for trade-related technical assistance, with special
mention of areas such as standards, sanitary and phyto-sanitary
measures, and supply-side constraints. Although Members recognized the
importance of regional integration in expanding trade, they expressed
concern about Zambia's membership in several overlapping trade
agreements, including the Common Market for Eastern and Southern
Africa (COMESA), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
They encouraged Zambia to take greater advantage of non-reciprocal
preferential access granted by some Members.
was commended for having made a serious effort to remove WTO
inconsistent measures identified during its first Trade Policy Review.
Members encouraged Zambia to improve its binding commitments by
increasing their coverage on non-agricultural products, and reducing
the gap between bound and applied rates. Further rationalization of
import taxation would reduce the widespread use of duty and tax
concessions. Members sought further information about Zambia's public
procurement regime, including its National Tender Board, and
encouraged it to speed its membership in the Plurilateral Agreement on
that protection of intellectual property rights could help to attract
foreign direct investment, Members encouraged Zambia to fully
implement its intellectual property obligations within the timeframe
prescribed by the TRIPS Agreement. Zambia's struggle with health
problems was pointed out as an example of the problems faced by WTO
Members with insufficient or no manufacturing capacities in the
pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, some Members urged that a decision
be expeditiously reached on the compulsory licensing access to
noted that Zambia's renewed emphasis on developing its agriculture
would contribute to poverty reduction and economic diversification.
They sought clarification about Zambia's intentions to create a Crop
Marketing Authority. Connected to agriculture were efforts to create
manufacturing opportunities to add value to commodities locally.
Members noted that residency restrictions were constraining
investment, especially in the services sector and raised questions
about Zambia's plans for telecommunications, broadcasting, financial
services and information technology, in particular.
also sought clarification on several specific matters, including
mainstreaming trade into development policy, even without “Pilot
Scheme” status in the Integrated Framework;
further liberalization of industrial tariffs;
export bans and controls;
contingency trade remedies;
investment regime in the mining and quarrying sector; and
agricultural policy and environmental concerns.
appreciated the responses provided by the delegation of Zambia during
the meeting, and looked forward to later replies to some questions.
conclusion, it is my feeling that this Trade Policy Review has
highlighted the commitment of the Zambian authorities to liberalize
their economy despite various difficulties. I am pleased that so many
Members identified ways in which they were providing trade-related
technical assistance to Zambia and their commitment to continue
assisting it. Nevertheless, I feel it important to call attention to
the supply-side constraints that still need to be addressed. I hope
that the Doha Development Agenda will evolve in such a way as to make
possible greater access for Zambia's products, and contribute to the
diversification of its economy. In sum, further assistance by the
international community will help Zambia to fully integrate into the
multilateral trading system.