Zambia and Malawi have agreed to improve their bilateral trade ties by working together to eliminate all barriers to cross-border trading.
Malawian president Lazarus Chakwera announced the initiative on Tuesday at a joint media briefing at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe following bilateral talks with his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema.
Hichilema was in Malawi for a one-day state visit for talks with Chakwera on a range of issues including discussions on finding sustainable solutions for the advancement of both nations.
Chakwera added that both countries will also review the existing Simplified Trade Regime (STR) with a view to expanding the list of eligible products traded.
The two countries have tried to implement efforts to improve bilateral trade following a dip in trade flows, especially last year when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
This year saw Malawi complete the construction of a One-Stop Border Post at the Mchinji/Mwami-Zambia border to ease cross-border trade between Malawi and Zambia.
According to Malawian authorities, the facility will reduce inconveniences that traders from both countries experience when clearing their goods.
Hichilema, on his part, affirmed the strong ties between the two countries, who are also members of the Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), noting that their relations needed to be nurtured.
“Zambia and Malawi have long standing, shared historical values which we must all harness and celebrate. A good neighbour is a protected neighbour,” Hichilema said.