LUSAKA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Experts in Zambia welcomed the government's decision to introduce a framework aimed at tracking the country's export earnings, primarily in the mining sector.
The Bank of Zambia, the central bank, issued a directive effective from Jan. 1, implementing the electronic export proceedings tracking framework. This directive will require all exporters to open and maintain an account with a bank located within the country.
The framework mandates that all exporters obtain a tax identification number from the Zambia Revenue Authority, which will then be linked to the central bank. This linkage is intended to ensure that all export invoices are processed through a financial institution domiciled in the country.
Kelvin Chisanga, a social economist in Zambia, told Xinhua Tuesday that the framework would significantly impact the country's export bill. Previously, goods were recorded in export volumes, but the resulting money did not return to the country's national treasury. This situation caused serious and ongoing imbalances between the recorded export volumes and the actual revenue.
"With this positive policy direction taken by key stakeholders, as a developing nation, we are likely to witness positive effects on the demand for the US dollar, thereby meeting its supply adequately," Chisanga said.
While acknowledging that the country faced significant challenges in repatriating funds through conventional currency by most host investors, the expert noted that the newly introduced framework addressed many challenges faced in the sector, stemming from policy and market actors.
Charles Masange, chairperson of the Timber Producers Association of Zambia, also welcomed the framework and suggested its extension to the timber industry.
"Zambia is a resource-rich country, yet as owners, we are not benefiting because we lack clarity on the actual earnings from these resources," he told Xinhua.
The framework will assist the government in accurately assessing the volume of exports and collecting the correct earnings, Masange said, adding that the lack of a mechanism to track exports resulted in substantial capital flight in the timber industry. ■