President Edgar Lungu has castigated some opposition leaders claiming that Zambia is not a favourable destination for trade and investment.
And President Lungu has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to promoting trade and investment as a vehicle of creating jobs, wealth and economic development for Zambians.
Meanwhile, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe, says government will soon present a Bill to Parliament that will compel business entities to plough back a percentage of their profits into the community.
ZANIS reports that President Lungu said contrary to wild claims by some opposition leaders and other detractors, the country was ranked 8th most competitive in Africa on the global competitiveness index.
He explained that Zambia is further ranked seventh in the Sub-Saharan Africa, fifth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and fourth in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The Head of State explained that the reforms have also enabled Zambia to be ranked fifth in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and fourth in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The Global Competitive Index has ranked Zambia highly in terms of ease of doing business.
President Lungu said this when he addressed over 250 business executives and captain of industries at the business dinner organised under the Zambia-South Africa Business Council (ZSABC) at the Zambian Mission in Pretoria, South Africa, on 5th December, 2015.
“My government has continued to pursue the implementation of the private sector development initiatives that promote and facilitate the development of a competitive private sector,” he said.
And President Lungu has implored business associations to help government translate these rankings of Zambia as the most competitive investment and trade destination into tangible investments.
President Lungu said government was looking to the private sector to augment policies of attracting increased private sector investment that would create wealth and jobs for Zambians.
“The Business Council is further expected to facilitate business interactions and also provide data on regulatory, labour and immigration issues,” he said.
He assured investors that his administration will continue to implement investment climate and economic policies aimed at creating an enabling business environment in order to lure Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and stimulate local investments.
“You are aware that it is a global trend for business councils for the private sector to establish business councils in order to compliment government’s efforts in promoting trade and investments,” he added.
Earlier, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe, said government intends to present a Bill to Parliament that will compel business entities to plough back a percentage of their profits in society.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said the Bill, once passed into law, will seek to inculcate and enhance Corporate Social Responsibility of allocating a small percentage in growing small and medium enterprises.
She called on South African Investors operating in Zambia to replicate best business models that have seen the rapid growth of its businesses.
“Zambia intends to borrow a good law from South Africa that compels business entities to allot three per cent of their profits in promoting SMEs in the value chain.
And speaking at the same event, Zambia-South Africa Business Council (ZSABC) chairperson, Charles Kalima, said the council seeks to enhance trade and economic co-operation between the countries.
Mr Kalima said the council will also foster sustainable trade and investment co-operation between investors in the two countries.
According Mr Kalima the council has received overwhelming response that has resulted in over 100 investment portfolios, among many other investment enquiries in various sectors of the Zambian economy.
Foreign Affairs Minister Harry kalaba, Works and Supply Permanent Secretary Charles Sipaje and his Commerce counterpart, Kayula Siame attended the function. ZANIS – 06/12/15