The European Union - the world's largest trading bloc – is convinced that trade is vital for a country’s development. But in an increasingly competitive global landscape, some developing countries have been further marginalised, held back by lack of productive capacity, difficulties in diversifying their economy, poor infrastructure and export conditions.
In line with its Communication "Trade, growth and development" , the EU seeks to ensure that its trade and development policies help developing countries, in particular, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to benefit from increased trade opportunities.
In Zambia, the EU proposes a number of ways to improve the effectiveness of EU trade and development, including:
- Bilateral trade: through the Everything but Arms Initiative and the recently reformed Generalised System of Preference, the EU aims to ensure that Zambia benefits from duty free and quota free access to the EU market;
- Aid for Trade: the EU provides financial assistance to help Zambia undertake domestic reforms to develop her capacity to trade,to produce, as well as the institutional and economic infrastructure necessary to expand trade. Since February 2013, the EU Delegation also assumes the role of Donor Facilitator of the Enhanced Integrated Framework.
- Economic Partnership Agreement: the EU and the Eastern and Southern African countries, including Zambia, are negotiating the establishment of a development friendly free trade agreement;
- The EU provides an online service, the Export Helpdesk to facilitate market access to exporters, especially small operators, who are interested in supplying the EU market.