North-Western Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Josephine Makondo has observed that the high interest rates charged by financial institutions are a huge setback to economic diversification.
Ms. Makondo says a number of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have the desire to expand their businesses but are however, failing to do so because of the high interest rates attached to loans by banking institutions.
She says government must quickly address the high cost of borrowing stressing that reduced interest rates will motivate business persons to borrow and subsequently expand their businesses.
Ms. Makondo added that reduced interest rates will help speed up the process of economic diversification and subsequently reduce dependence on copper.
She states that the Chamber of commerce and Industry is in support of government policies aimed at diversifying the economy.