GOVERNMENT is to set up an Industrial Development Corporation aimed at attracting massive investments in high risk areas shunned by the private sector. The state-run firm will also act as an umbrella institution to deal with all the parastatals in the country. Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda said in an interview in Lusaka that, once the firm was approved by Cabinet, it would encourage the revival of industries such as the now defunct Mwinilunga Pineapple factory in North-western province. “We are contemplating setting up the Industrial Development Corporation which will be an umbrella organisation to woo investors to high risk areas shunned by the private sector,”Mr Chenda said. Regarding the revival of Mwiniluinga Cannery, Mr Chenda said Government would encourage it under the principle of the Rural Industrialisation Strategy, where the growing of pineapples would have to be promoted through the value chain. Most importantly, establishment of the Industrial Development Corporation will support initiatives in such industries because the private sector avoided investing in high risk areas for fear of not getting their return on their investment. Commenting on the industrial clusters, the minister said the approach had been modified because the previous tactic was costly to develop for the Government. Mr Chenda said the model for the industrial clusters was too costly and cited the example of the Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) which Government had been struggling to complete. “That model of industrial clusters is too costly for us where industries have to be grouped and what we have done now is to modify the approach hence the delay,” Mr Chenda said. Mr Chenda said the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) will help Government to promote value chain. Clusters seek to exploit all available natural resources to empower people at district level with skills and employment.
Times of Zambia