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Beginning with the relevance of policies, the analysis of Zambia's retail sector in the chapter by Mwanda Phiri and Francis Ziba reminded us of the challenges that local suppliers face when trying to plug into value chains dominated by foreign firms. In spite of comparative advantages, local firms will fail to participate in GVCs, with opportunities for development foregone, if they do not meet the standards demanded by related lead firms. As Phiri and Ziba argued, government agencies are essential facilitators of the integration of local firms into GVCs (or into value chains regional in scope) because they can protect nascent industries, enforce local content through corresponding legislation, ease access to finance so that local firms upgrade their production processes as well as promote regional integration - which enables local firms to expand into new markets.
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