PRESIDENT Michael Sata has reaffirmed Government’s determination to formulate a reform agenda that seeks to improve the business environment and reduce the cost of doing business in Zambia.
Mr Sata said the reform process would create a competitive business environment that supports job and wealth creation.
In his Facebook posting on March 24th, the President said Government recently introduced a Bill in Parliament to regulate business licensing as part of the business regulatory reforms.
“I wish to share with you our Government’s commitment to support private sector-led growth by implementing business environment reforms aimed at enhancing a competitive business environment and enhancing the investment climate through the Private Sector Development Reform Programme,” he said.
He said the Business Regulatory Bill would also assist reduce the administrative burdens, compliance costs and the number of licences and permits required to promote growth in sectors such as agriculture, construction, education, health, infrastructure, manufacturing and tourism.
Mr Sata said last year, Zambia moved up 11 places on the 2014 Global Ease of Doing Business (DB) index.
“Zambia’s rank on the Doing Business index now stands at 83 from 94 the previous year.
“In Africa, Zambia ranks eighth, in Sub-Saharan Africa seventh, fifth in SADC [Southern African Development Community] and fourth in COMESA [Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa],” he said.
Further, Zambia’s ranking on the global competitiveness index for 2013/2014 also improved from 102 to 93, thus making Zambia the eighth most competitive country in Africa.
Mr Sata said the improvements in the business environment included the elimination of 20 unnecessary licences, reduction in the cumulative compliance cost by 26.4 per cent, and a 100 per cent cost reduction for the registration of businesses for preferential procurement.
He attributed the improvements to the introduction of the on-line name search facility, tax reforms, clarity on the environmental impact assessment for construction permits, and the one-stop shop for business registration.
Times of Zambia