December 2, 2004, Times of Zambia

By Business Reporter

THE Consumer Unity & Trust Society Africa Resource Centre (CUTS-ARC) has urged Zambia to develop a strategy if she has to benefit fully from the numerous trade protocols.

Centre director Sajeev Nair said in Lusaka yesterday that trade was a key component of poverty reduction and economic development and hence the need for Zambia to position herself ideally to benefit from the signed protocols.

CUTS-ARC is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) whose aim is to inform, educate and provoke debate on issues of trade and sustainable development, and economic equity.

Speaking in an interview at the just ended Commission for Africa national consultative forum at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Mr Nair said it was sad that Zambia had not harmonised trade into the transitional national development plan.

Mr Nair also said that even the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and Transitional Development Plans (TNDP) did not clearly elaborate adjustments Zambia would make to increase exports.

It was vital for Zambia to come up with a plan to be used as a tool for national development and as a pad on which all other initiatives like those of the World Bank and World Trade Organisation (WTO) based their support.

He said if Zambia developed a strategy to improve its exports, this would offset balance of payment (BoP) deficit which impacted negatively on the economy.

He said Zambia should emulate developed countries which prioritised local producers as opposed to outside ones.