The preparations for the implementation of the African continental free trade area commences with the development of the tariff phased down schedule. The Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) this week organised a stakeholders meeting to look at product line which should be included in the tariff phase down schedule based on the most favored nation schedule. This process involved identification of products that would be liberalized once the actual implementation of the FTA comes into act and those which would fall under sensitive and exclusion lists. The products which will fall under the sensitive before being imported based on revenue sensitive and industry status while exclusion lists will be products which the country would not allow to be imported based on a number of factors among them included the infancy nature of the industry,

The stakeholders include heads of the private sector associations and the civil societies working on trade issues. The poultry association of zambia including the daily, the zambia national farmers union and the cotton association of Zambia were in attendance. This stakeholder meeting is the first of many meetings to be held with the private sector before the scheduled are agreed upon. The over arching aim of the african continental free trade areas with respect to goods includes progressive elimination of tariffs , progressive removal of non tariff barriers, enhancing the efficiency of customs, trade facilitation and transit, cooperation on technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary value chains as well as socio-economic development, diversification and industrialization across Africa among others. A total of 44 of 55 states signed the consolidated text of the AfCFTA agreement at the summit in kigali.

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