USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, along with its partners from the Zambian Bureau of Standards (ZABS), celebrated the formal re-opening of Zambia’s National Enquiry Point (NEP) in Lusaka on April 8.
With the re-launch of the NEP, local 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 member countries.
A National Enquiry Point is a requirement of the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. It is also crucial to reducing the time and cost of trade, since it offers a single contact point to which requests for information can be made. Without an NEP, gathering required information can be cumbersome and even impossible—hindering trade, private sector involvement and economic growth.
The Trade Hub provided assistance, infrastructure, and staff training to improve the NEP and ready it for re-launch. Over sixty stakeholders attended the event, which was followed by an extensive site visit to the Zambian Bureau of Standards, where the NEP is housed, and visits to all of the commercial testing labs.
The event received media coverage from ZNBC TV, ZNBC Radio, the Daily Mail, the Post, the Zambian Times, and Pan-African Radio. USAID Southern Africa’s Evans Chinembiri attended the event, and USAID Zambia’s Deputy Mission Director Patrick Diskin gave remarks on the occasion.