Experts call for strengthening of trade blocs in Africa

Nigerian traders
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Strengthening regional trade blocs is key to perfecting the art of trade and reaping maximum benefits, experts said Thursday.

The experts also noted that regional trade blocs in Africa are helping in improving the quality of products and that many traders across the continent should be encouraged to fully exploit opportunities presented by the blocs. “We need to strengthen regional trade blocs because doing so will help in ensuring the realization of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) dream and aspirations,” said Michael Nyirenda, an economist, in an interview with Xinhua.

Nyirenda, who is immediate past president Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), further implored governments in Africa to continue providing necessary measures that work to facilitate trade within regional blocs.”This sort of work calls for cooperation. While governments facilitate trade in Africa through the provision of policy frameworks, it is our duty as traders to ensure that our goods meet the standards of export and can compete favorably with others of similar Kind,” he said

Nyirenda also called for the strengthening of trade networks noting that networking platforms help improve information sharing among traders. And foreign trade specialist Lillian Bwalya asserted that regional trade blocs serve as launch pads for intercontinental trade. “The proximity to the regional market should be like a training ground. It will help you improve your standards and it is also cheaper in terms of transportation. Once your product gains access to the regional market, and they have confidence in it, then you can take it beyond the region to the rest of Africa and beyond,” Bwalya said.

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