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Zambian manufacturers cry for incentives to penetrate U.S market

LUSAKA, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Manufacturers in Zambia have called on the government to provide them with incentives that will enable them penetrate the United States market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Times of Zambia reported on Thursday.

AGOA is a preferential access arrangement put in place by the American government to allow sub-Saharan African countries export selected products into that country duty free.

But according to a report published by the American Department of Commerce, Zambia failed to export a single product to the apparel market through AGOA in 2013.

Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) chief executive officer Maybin Nsupila said predictable economic policies were imperative if the country's chances of penetrating the U.S. market under AGOA were to brighten.

The official said a predictable policy environment will be able to attract more investors in the textile sector which is the main source of exports to the AGOA market.

"Challenges affecting Zambia's performance on the AGOA can be addressed effectively through a stable policy framework that attracts and supports sustainable foreign direct investments," he was quoted as saying by the paper.

The government, he said, should expedite the process of formulating a regulatory impact assessment policy that will provide a platform for government and other stakeholders to collectively agree on policies that will maintain a stable climate for investment.

According to him, the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country has been hampered over the years due to lack of capacity and poor product quality.

The manufacturing sector has been contributing between eight and 12 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because the country was unable to sustain large-scale manufacturing of certain products, he added.

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