Government has challenged manufacturers in Zambia to take advantage of the conducive business environment for them to engage in value addition before exporting their products.
And Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industries Robert Sichinga has observed that the growth of the manufacturing sector is still minimal despite government’s deliberate policy to reduce both the procedure of establishing companies and the cost of doing business in the country.
Mr. Sichinga said the Zambian manufacturers were not exporting enough to the countries in the region who have an understanding with Zambia.
He noted that despite Zambia being endowed with plenty of natural resources, manufacturers have not used them to their advantage to exploit and export to other countries.
He explained that his ministry has decentralized the Zambia Development Agency’s offices, Patent and Company Registration Agency (PACRA) and further tasked the Citizens Economic Empowerment
Commission to support micro and small scale enterprise in order to boost manufactures.
Mr. Sichinga said the measure taken by government was meant to ensure that the manufacturing industry growths to its peak and begin to add value to their products as opposed to exporting raw products.
The minister added that government has revised the sixth National Development Plan in order to ensure that it incorporate the Patriotic Front (PF) manifesto which calls for industrialisation and creation of more jobs for the local people.
He stated that government has indicated in the industrialisation and job creation paper that it wants to create 89,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector which he said can only be attained if the private
sector and government work together and support local content.
Mr. Sichinga was speaking in Lusaka today when he addressed manufacturers at the local content showcase and business seminar which has been organized by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM).
And ZAM president Bright Chunga said the promotion of local content was the only answer to the
growth of the manufacturing sector and the nation.
Dr. Chunga encouraged people to consider giving preference to local products in order to support the growth of the manufacturing industry in Zambia.
In a speech read for him by ZAM executive member, Roseta Chabala, Dr. Chungu stressed that since the establishment of local content exhibition in 2012, tremendous growth has been recorded.
He said the number of manufacturers coming on board has increased steadily.
The Zambia Association of Manufacturers annually hosts the manufacturers’ week to promote and celebrate the role of manufacturing in fostering Zambia’s economic diversification, employment creation, poverty reduction and as one of the main drivers of sustainable socio-economic growth and development.