The Zambia Trade Mission to Lubumbashi led by the Zambia Development Agency in partnership with the Embassy of Finland in Zambia, the AGS Programme and Absa Bank Zambia Plc officially opened on 22nd September 2022.
The trade mission has created a platform for 50 Zambian companies both large and SMEs to exhibit and participate in Business – to – Business (B2B) Meeting with buyers from DRC through a match making and sectorial meetings.
Speaking at the official opening of the Trade Mission in Lubumbashi, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary John Mulongoti in a speech read on his behalf by Nalituba Mwale, Director Human Resources and Administration stated that the trade mission confirms government’s commitment to actualise strong bilateral relations between Zambia and Congo DR.
Mr. Mulongoti said the Zambian government recognises that robust intra African Trade is vital in achieving prosperity and growth amongst African States and has made economic diplomacy a core pillar of Zambia’s foreign policy.
He urged the private sector from both countries to build on the platform created through the bilateral meetings that have been held between Mr. Hakainde Hichilema president of the Republic of Zambia and Mr. Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC aimed at strengthening and enhancing trade relationship between the two countries.
“It is imperative that the private sector advances the commitments made by the two Presidents during their meetings towards establishing regional value chains and increasing trade,” he explained.
He noted the successes made in the trade mission undertaken last year in October where over US$ 63 million export leads and US$20 million orders were recorded.
“Of the US$ 20million orders, nearly US$10 million worth of goods have already been exported to DRC thereby earning the much needed foreign exchange for Zambia,” he said.
Meanwhile Celine Kanyeba Provincial Minister of Economy and Trade Haut Katanga Province welcomed the Zambian delegation to Lubumbashi and wished the delegation a successful trade mission.
Ms. Kanyeba called for enhanced partnerships between the two countries through targeted private sector collaboration and trade negotiations.
She encouraged the private sector to seize the opportunities to re-enforce the economic ties between the two countries.
And ZDA Acting Director General Albert Halwampa said the DRC has been a very important and strategic market for Zambia for non-traditional exports (NTEs).
Mr. Halwampa stated that the Agency for a long time has been leading private sector delegations into the Democratic Republic of Congo to penetrate, consolidate and create new market for Zambian products.
He noted that NTEs worth billions of dollars have been exported into the DRC as a result of the trade missions organised by ZDA.
“The success stories would not have been possible without the partnership of Federation des enterprises du Congo (FEC), for many years and we have worked successfully together,” added Mr. Halwampa.
He added that it was exciting that for the first time, companies like African Life Financial Services was participating in the trade mission to export services to the DRC within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Mr. Halwampa further acknowledged the partnership of the Accelerated Growth Programme in Zambia through the Embassy of Finland in Zambia and Absa Bank Zambia Plc in making the trade mission a success since 2021.
And FEC President Patrick Muland Kabey said Zambia and Congo DR share a common history and bilateral relations for a long time.
Mr. Muland encouraged the private sector to build on the historical relationship of the two countries to create synergies that will result into a win – win situation for both countries.
He wished the Zambian delegation a successful and fruitful trade mission.