By Derrick Silimina
The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has recorded business deals to a tune of $13.80 million from the recently facilitated Trade Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a statement, ZDA Head Communications and Public Relations Kwali Mfuni said this comprises confirmed orders worth $6.6 million and $7.1 million trade leads.
Mfuni stated that the transactions were recorded from 37 Zambian companies that participated in the Trade Mission held from 26th to 27th October 2023 that was also supported by ABSA Bank Zambia limited adding that the participating companies were from various sectors which included manufacturing, agro processing, agriculture, transport, mining, tourism and construction among others.
“The key interest areas for the recorded business transactions are for the supply of commodities like cooking oil, tea, wild orchids, agrichemicals, insecticides, treated poles, garments, groundnuts, sugar, wooden product paint, furniture, irrigation equipment, engineering equipment and personal protective equipment (PPEs). Other business interests are provision of services like transport and logistics, printing, branding and interior designing,” she said.
Commenting on the development, ZDA Director General Mr. Albert Halwampa in his closing remarks emphasised that Katanga Province was an important market for Zambia.
Halwampa commended the facilitation of ease of trade agreements at Government level between the two countries and urged the business sector to emulate the Government to Government collaboration.
He observed that the establishment of a non-stop border post will also go a long way towards easing the movement of goods between the two countries thereby facilitating enhanced business transactions.
“It is worth noting that the DRC, mainly Katanga Province, continues to be a lucrative and accessible market for Zambian Non Traditional Export Products. This is evidenced by the increased volumes of trade from $893 million recorded in 2021 to $1,599 million in 2022. Major exports to DRC include sulphuric acid, non-alcoholic beverages, electrical energy, maize, raw cane sugar, sweet biscuits, quicklime, buttermilk, curdled milk and cream among others,” he noted.
Halwampa stressed that the main objectives for the Trade Mission was to enhance Zambia‘s presence in the Congo DR through ZDA Trade Missions; increase the number of companies that have an understanding of the size and dynamics of the Congo Market; support companies to show-case their products, maintain the current foothold in DRC market and establish new and future business relations; to undertake B2B meetings between Zambian companies and their Congolese counterparts and to introduce new SMEs to the DRC market for further exploration.
On the Congolese side, he disclosed that the Agency was supported by the Federation of Chambers of Katanga (FEC), the Zambian Consulate General Office in Katanga Province and the Provincial Administration of Katanga.