Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Emmanuel Chenda says empowering Small Medium Enterprises, SMEs, through training and financial support in Zambia will increase the country’s economic activities, which will in turn add value to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
Mr. Chenda who described SMEs as India’s economic power engine was speaking in an interview with ZANIS after touring the National Small Industries Corporation, NSIC, projects in India today.
The Minister, who was accompanied by Minister of Gender and Child Development Inonge Wina, explained that SMEs in India have been able to sustain the value addition for a long time
He observed that with the full engagement of SMEs in various economic industries which include food processing, farming, wood furniture, textile, the entrepreneurial institutions are able to maximise on the capacity of their productivity for the benefit of the masses.
The Minister further observed that India’s economic performance is above average because of its simplified approach of growing its economy through the full participation of the SMEs.
SMEs are an economic way of creating employment for the majority.
Mr Chenda added that if such an arrangement was to be replicated in Zambia, it will massively create jobs for the many youths.
“What we need as a country is patience. India is making it because of patience, economic patience,” he explained.
The Minister emphasised that SMEs in Zambia will need to be a standalone if the country is to achieve its goal of reducing unemployment levels.
“There is need for commitment to focus on the right things. In India, they put their word where their mouth is,” the minister elaborated.
On Education, Mr. Chenda described education as one of the greatest strategies that India has heavily invested in.
“The youths have been able to adapt to these skills which are a multiplying factor in so far as improving the economic baseline for the majority citizen is concerned.
Meanwhile Minister of Gender and Child Development Inonge Wina said SMEs are a practical way of advancing the economy.
Mrs. Wina said her ministry is committed to work closely with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in order to coordinate the required activities to increase capacity building especially among women.
“There is political will in the PF administration and as a ministry we are following the manifesto and implementing the policies that we promised the people of Zambia. We will ensure we implement and we hope the civil service will support us,” she said.