Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Christopher Yaluma says Zambia has expressed reluctance to relax its rules on the importation of wheat flour from other SADC countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

According to a press release issued by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at Zambia’s High Commission in South Africa Naomi Nyawali, Yaluma said Zambia’s decision to maintain the status-quo concerning wheat importation was in the best interest of the country as it would benefit the local economy.

Speaking on the side lines of the SADC 30th meeting of the committee of Ministers of Trade held in Pretoria, South Africa, Yaluma said Zambia’s decision had since been accepted by the SADC Secretariat.

He said Zambia would exercise caution to adopt international trade treaties that were not favourable to the country, adding that by consensus, the decision was accepted by other countries.

Yaluma indicated that the Zambian government needed time in order to make extensive consultation with several local stakeholders before adopting some international trade agreements.

He said government was interested in seeing that local businesses and manufacturing sectors were active participants in regional and international trade so as to empower them.

Yaluma further said government was actively working towards meeting deadlines given to ensure that it carried out extensive consultation before coming up with a permanent position on some international trade agreements such as joining the African Union Free Trade Area (FTA), which remained suspended.