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International trade-related agreements signed by Zambia

Zambia belongs to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which is a free trade area with 21 Member States stretching from Tunisia to Eswatini. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981.  Zambia also belongs to the 14-member Southern African Development Community (SADC), which established a Free Trade Area (FTA) in 2008.  The establishment of a single market through the merged Tripartite Free Trade Area (COMESA, the East African Community [EAC], and SADC was formally launched in June 2015.

Zambia has duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market, under the “Everything but Arms" (EBA) scheme for the world’s Least-Developed Countries (LDCs).  Zambia is also eligible for trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty-free/quota-free access to the U.S. market for most goods, including textiles and apparel.

Regional Instruments/Agreements

1. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

2. Southern African Development Community (SADC)

International Instruments/Agreements

3. World Trade Organization (WTO)

4. Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) Schemes including the Generalized System Preferences (GSP): As an LDC, Zambia has DFQF Market Access Schemes with the following countries:

  • USA – AGOA;
  • European Union – EBA and GSP+;
  • China DFQF Scheme for LDCs
  • South Korea DFQF Scheme for LDCs;
  • Canada DFQF Scheme for LDCs; and
  • India DFQF Scheme for LDCs

5. Zambia has signed but not yet ratified the following trade agreements:

  • East and Southern Africa (ESA) – EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA);
  • COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA); and
  •  African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

Benefits of signed trade agreements for women in business

The signed are significant for women in business in that them to sell their products duty free thereby promoting trade and economic activity across the region. 

Zambia is implementing both COMESA and SADC trade protocols which require full liberalization of trade, thus providing an advantage to women traders engaged in cross border trade. The AfCFTA already has cooperation mechanisms in place such as removal of non-tariff barriers as well as resolving disputes that African businesses can benefit from, as they seek to deepen their  integration. 

Contact information

Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry
New Government Complex
8th, 9th and 10th Floors, Nasser Road
P.O. Box 31968
Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: +260 211 228301/9
Fax: +260 211 226984
Email: info@MCTI.gov.zm
Facebook: Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry