April 8, 2015 Lusaka, Zambia: Zambian exporters and importers now have an effective “one-stop shop” where they can receive crucial information on laws, regulations, and quality standards for doing business with other World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries.
Distinguished representatives from the US Embassy in Zambia and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), along with their partners from the Zambian Bureau of Standards (ZABS), celebrated the formal re-opening of the country’s National Enquiry Point.
The re-launch of the Enquiry Point in Zambia will benefit trade by identifying standards, technical regulations, and conformity procedures to improve regional and global market access.
In close cooperation with the Zambia Bureau of Standards, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub undertook an ambitious collaboration to overhaul the National Enquiry Point over the last 14 months. “Given the importance of efficient trade to economic growth in Zambia, we are glad to support the re-launch of the Enquiry Point,” stated Nancy Whitney, USAID/Southern Africa. “We are pleased that Zambia is fulfilling its obligations as a WTO member while utilizing twenty-first century tools to streamline trade, improve food security, and encourage investment in the region.”
Under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, member nations must develop effective enquiry points and strengthen their legal and regulatory framework for standards in order to increase trade. USAID has designed a special facility—the Partnership for Trade Facilitation Standards Alliance—to assist countries in implementing their commitments under the agreement.
Support provided to Zambia forms an integral part of USAID’s efforts to increase competitiveness, intra-regional trade, and food security in Southern Africa. Similar
initiatives were undertaken in Malawi where a National Enquiry Point was formally launched in September 2014 and in Lesotho where the NEP opened in December 2014.