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Trade and Regional Integration in Zambia: FY2019/20

Trade and Regional Integration in Zambia: FY2019/20

Trade and Regional Integration in Zambia: FY2019/20
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  • Last Updated Apr 22, 2020

Trade and Regional Integration in Zambia: FY2019/20

Zambian exports have been growing faster than imports during the period from 2015 to 2018. This has not had a significant positive impact on gross official reserves due to weakening of the services trade balance and rising foreigners’ income from Zambia. The growth in exports has had a short-term impact on Zambia’s current account balance but in the forward-looking medium-term the current account balance is projected to return to its persistent current account deficit. Zambia is still dependent on copper trade which is also amongst its top-traded goods with its neighbours in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). However, Zambia is highly integrated in both COMESA and SADC but its trade is unbalanced due to the persistent merchandise trade deficit in both regions. This suggests that there is significant room to increase Zambia’s exports to both regions and Zambia might want to rebalance its trade towards greater reliance on COMESA for its imports in order to reduce its overreliance on SADC.

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