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Malawi, Zambia sign one border post deal

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Trade-related activities between Malawi and Zambia are expected to be enhanced following the signing of an agreement to do with the Nacara Road Corridor Development Project.

The two governments have agreed to establish a One- Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Mchinji and Mwami borders.

This means that paperwork for goods crossing the border will be done at one place, unlike the current situation where both countries have a checkpoint.

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Speaking during the signing ceremony in Lilongwe, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Joseph Mwanamvekha, said the initiative would reduce time spent on and costs for, imports and exports.

“Signing of the agreement between our two countries will take us a step forward in our bilateral economic relationship. The first call of the OSBP Agreement is Mchinji-Mwami Border. It will in future extend to other borders,” Mwanamvekha said.

He added: “The main objective of the OSBP is to enhance trade facilitation through efficient movement of goods and people within Comesa (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) and Southern African Development Community (Sadc) regions.”

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Zambia’s Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Margaret Mwanakatwe, said that the move would make the Nacala Corridor competitive by directing imports and exports to the Nacala Port.

“You may wish to note that long distances to the sea-ports grossly contribute to high transportation costs for both Malawi and Zambia. These are major impediments to regional and international trade.” Mwanakatwe said.

The Nacara Road Corridor Development Project was launched in April, 2015 in Chipata, Zambia.

The Mchinji/Mwami One- Stop Border Post will be completed within 18 months.

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