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State keen to engage with private sector – Mwanakatwe

GOVERNMENT is ready to engage the private sector in implementing the various infrastructural and developmental projects that have been planned countrywide, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe has said.
Speaking at the closure of the business forums that were held alongside the 51st Zambia International Trade Fair, Ms Mwanakatwe said the private sector should work with Government to execute several projects under the concept of public-private-partnership (PPP).
“There are immense benefits that come with a PPP project. Of course, there are some challenges and this is why we need to work together. Businesses should tell us what they want because we [as Government] are ready and willing to work with the private sector in various developmental projects around the country,” she said.
At the same event, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director general Patrick Chisanga also told private sector that the agency is able to guarantee an investment through the signing of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement that protects an investments from nationalisation.
Highlighting opportunities available and incentives that come with investing in priority sectors in the country, ZDA director for investment Agnes Chaila cited those in rural areas, industrial parks, and the multi-facility economic zones (MFEZs).
Ms Chaila said there are a number of investment fiscal and non-fiscal incentives investors can look forward to when investing in the priority sectors.
Some of the fiscal incentives include corporate income tax at zero percent for five years, zero percent tax rate on dividends for five years, no import duty on equipment and machinery for five years and investment guarantees and protection.
The non-fiscal incentives include free facilitation of application of permits, licences, land acquisition and other utilities.
Commenting on the incentives, Lusaka South (LS) MFEZ chief executive officer Fortune Kamusaki said the zone is ready to promote manufacturing, stimulating export activities and enhancing technological development to result in job and wealth creation.
“LS-MFEZ is a public sector -led commercial entity in which Government is providing the requisite infrastructure and utility systems such as roads, electricity, water, solid waste and sewerage treatment facilities to enable the private sector set up enterprises in an enabling environment,” Dr Kamusaki said.
The business forums were organised by ZDA in conjunction with the management of the Trade Fair, and it was aimed at creating business linkages between local and foreign enterprises and also linkages within the country.