Government has observed that a viable and well functioning private sector operating in a competitive environment will drive the country’s economy and create the much needed jobs and wealth for the people.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Acting Permanent Secretary Cathy Mkala said no economy in the world has ever developed without the full participation of the private sector.
Ms. Mkala said this during the opening ceremony of the newly constructed Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) business information centre in Lusaka today.
The construction of the business information centre was funded by the Germany Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
She said government needs the support of a flourishing private sector for it to implement its goal of promoting broad-based pro-poor growth.
Ms. Mkala has since thanked the Germany government, through the Frankfurt Chamber for its commitment in strengthening the private sector in Zambia.
She also applauded the chamber movement in Zambia under the leadership of ZACCI for its tireless efforts in creating a strong private sector.
And Ms. Mkala said government envisages having an information and knowledge based society by 2030.
She said government was committed to increase coverage, access and efficiency in the provision of information and communication technology services to contribute to sustainable national socio-economic development of the Zambian economy.
Ms. Mkala said government was also focusing on establishing an environment that encourages networking of services and applications, promoting e-commerce, trade promotion programmes for goods and services, expansion of ICT infrastructure through multiple delivery channels accessible to all citizens especially in rural areas.
She said government will further mainstream ICT in key sectors of the economy to promote innovation, improve efficiency and accelerate development.
Ms. Mkala said more importantly, government has planned to increase internet penetration and accessibility between 2013 and 2016, adding that it will continue to create a policy environment for the provision of e-commerce and e-government services with a view of encouraging the use of e-commerce in the economy.
She said this will assist in reducing the cost of doing business by facilitating access to local and international markets, business licensing and information on business opportunities as well as promote the use of ICT products in business transactions.
Speaking earlier, ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda thanked the Germany government for providing resources for the construction of the business information sector.
Mr. Sakulanda said a strong private sector in the country has the potential to improve the national economy and creating the much needed jobs and wealthy for the people.
And Germany Ambassador to Zambia Bernd Finke said his government stands ready to support Zambia in promoting foreign direct investment in the country and also in strengthening the private sector and public private partnerships.