CROSS-BORDER TRADERS’ WEBSITE TO EASE DATA EXCHANGE

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KETRA KALUNGA

THE Cross Border Traders Association of Zambia (CBTAZ) has launched a website to provide small-scale traders and stakeholders with vital information and guidelines in order to speed the flow of goods across borders. The website, www.cbtazambia.com, made possible with the support from the European Union and COMESA, is a centralized platform that will play a key role in information sharing, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic that has rendered physical interaction risky.

CBTAZ Chairman General, Goodson Mbewe, said during the launch in Lusaka that the website would do a lot of good for the association in terms of communicating with its members and the public on the services offered. Counselor for Regional Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Zambia and COMESA, Matthias Reusing said access to the right information was vital to smallscale cross-border traders, as this facilitates their participation in trade and prevents risks associated to informal trade, such as corruption and harassment.

“Through this website, the Cross Border Traders Association (CBTA) will be in a position to better interact and provide support to its members. Access to the relevant information, guidelines and policies will be circulated on the platform, speeding up the regular flow of goods across borders to and from neighboring countries.” He adds.The website has useful information for traders such as what goods are eligible under the Simplified Trade Regime (STR), contact information of Trade Information Desk Officers (TIDOs) in border towns and latest news and updates from CBTAZ.

Traders can also download membership registration forms from the website as well as find guidelines on what procedures to follow at the border. The COMESA Secretariat Director of Trade and Customs, Dr Chris Onyango says cross border traders play a key role in promoting cross border trade, defending traders’ rights and providing various information and services to their members. “The website will make sharing and communicating information and doing business more innovative and effective.” He said

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