The Government of the Republic of Zambia remains committed to creating an enabling business environment to promote inclusive growth and industrialization, value addition and diversification of the Zambian economy. It is in this regard that the National African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Response Strategy, 2018-2025 and Work Plan has been prepared as one of the tools that the Government will use to not only assist policy makers in their day to day planning and evaluation of Zambia’s utilization of preferences under AGOA but also to assist the private sector to create business linkages and enhance their capacity to export value added, quality products into the US and regional markets.
Zambia has barely utilized the preferential market access opportunities under the AGOA Trade Preference Program in the past due to among other factors, lack of awareness of existing opportunities in various States of America and the preferences of consumers, limited quantities produced for exports, inability to meet product requirements for the US market and logistical costs. It is against this background that this Response Strategy was formulated to not only tackle bottlenecks that limit trade between Zambia and the United States of America but also to create a platform to enhance Zambia’s trade with countries in the region as part of efforts to improve market penetration in other regions.
The Strategy is anchored on Zambia’s aspiration of becoming a prosperous middle income economy by 2030, as set out in the Vision 2030 as well as in the 7th National Development Plan which parts from sectoral-based planning to an integrated (multisectoral) development approach that aims to leave no one behind. It is foreseen that efforts to enhance trade under the AGOA initiative will have ripple effects on other efforts being made by the Government of the Republic of Zambia to diversify the Zambian economy and further boost Zambian exports into international markets.
Once implemented the Strategy is expected to enhance competitiveness, while creating opportunities for the growth of Zambia’s exports into the United States in light of the current low utilization levels of preferences under AGOA.
The implementation of the Strategy is also expected to increase Zambia’s exports to countries within the COMESA, SADC and the African continent at large as well as contribute to employment and wealth creation.