By JAMES KUNDA –
ZAMBIA’S High Commissioner to Malawi Charles Banda says the volume of trade between the two countries is poised to increase once the Chipata-Mchinji railway line is operational.
Mr Banda said the recent progress made between Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) and Malawi’s Central East African Railways (CEAR) towards opening up the railway line which connects to Nacala Corridor, will help the two countries move beyond the current cross border trade.
He made the remarks in Lilongwe on Tuesday when a delegation of the Lions Club of Zambia paid a courtesy call on him.
“Much of the trade between Zambia and Malawi is cross border trade which will soon change once Zambia Railways rolls in the two locomotives and 100 wagons to operate on the corridor.
“There is a lot of potential for increased trade between our two countries and there is a lot that we can do,” Mr Banda said.
This is contained in a statement made available yesterday by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian Embassy in Lilongwe Chansa Kabwela.
ZRL is expected to work closely on this corridor with CEAR, a company that runs Malawi railway network and the Nacala Development Corridor (CDN).
The CDN is owned by Mozambique Ports and Railways Company and Sociedade de Desenvolvimento do corridor do Nacala. Plans to have the railway line operational have reached an advanced stage.
The line from the port of Nacala, stretching up to the Chipata/Mchinji railway line at 1,138 kilometres, is a much more economical and shorter route for Zambia’s imports and exports.