Govt to compel super markets to stock local products

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–Government has pledged to start inspecting supermarkets operating in Zambia to ensure that they begin to stock local products as a way of supporting local manufacturing

Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Miles Sampa, said government needs to identify supermarkets that are importing products that could be produced or manufactured within the country so that they could be compelled to start stocking local products in addition to the products that they import from other countries.

Mr Sampa’s remarks follow complaints by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) that most supermarkets in Zambia are importing products and farm products instead of buying from local manufacturers and farmers which they said have killed the market for local products.

Speaking when he graced the 47th  ZAM Annual General Meeting in Lusaka today Mr Sampa stated that government will ensure that local contents are supported by encouraging supermarkets to stock locally produced goods side by side with imported ones.

The deputy Minister noted that the manufacturing industry plays an important role in the development of the country by creating jobs for the local people and enhance the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Sampa added that government will continue creating conducive environment for the manufacturing industry by formulating good policies to ensure that the industry flourishes.

He commended ZAM for exhibiting good corporate governance by holding an AGM every year which he said affords the general membership an opportunity to receive reports on the performance of the organization and chart the way forward to guide management during the coming year.

And speaking earlier, ZAM President, Bright Chunga, appealed to government to level the playing field for the local manufacturers to compete.

Mr Chunga noted that the application of duty and imports of raw materials and intermediary products used in the manufacturing sector penalises them and creates an unfavourable environment for manufacturers.

He also asked government to work on stabilising the exchange rate as the Zambian manufacturing sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials which he said have been affected by the fluctuating of the exchange rate.