The Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) has remained resolute about meeting its target of registering over 50,000 companies this year.
Last year, PACRA registered only about 30, 000 companies but it is targeting to double the number this year.
Several stakeholders, among them the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) and the Private Sector Development Association (PSDA), have since called on PACRA to scale up its efforts if it was to achieve its objectives.
However, PACRA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anthony Bwembya said the agency was this year targeting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMES), especially youths who are doing business in an informal way.
Mr. Bwembya said the agency was on course to meeting its target having registered more than 7, 000 companies during the first quarter of 2013, an increase from the number of companies registered during the same period last year.
He told ZANIS that the agency will ensure that all MSMEs formalize their businesses this year.
He said PACRA has since embarked on a sensitization and mobile registration exercise across the country.
Mr. Bwembya revealed that the agency has also been conducting workshops and meetings aimed at providing young with entrepreneurial information on the benefits of registering their businesses.
The PACRA CEO noted that non-registration of companies in the country has been due to lack of information.
He said most business people think they needed to reach a certain profit level before registering their companies when in fact they are supposed to register before aspiring for growth.
Mr. Bwembya said the mobile registration exercise has been well received by young entrepreneurs although the agency was facing a challenge of mobilising them into one place because most of them were usually very far apart.
Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce, Trade, and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda said government will continue to support PACRA as it aims to achieve its target of registering more than 50, 000 companies this year.
Mr. Chenda said his ministry has since embarked on creating one stop shops in a bid to boost PACRA efforts.
He stated that since the PACRA was targeting MSMEs, it was very crucial to create a platform for these small businesses to formalise their operations.