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State to enact policies protecting local industries

GOVERNMENT will soon enact policies to restrict certain business activities to only be undertaken by local entrepreneurs in order to grow and protect Zambian industries, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe has said.
Ms Mwanakatwe said there is need to strengthen the enforcement of regulations that should reduce the influx of cheap imports that create unfair competition on local products.
She cited the poultry and chicken businesses, and transport and haulage sector as some of the areas that need full participation of local people.
“Some business activities are a preserve of local industries and this is what Government wants to actualise to result in wealth and job creation. Why should we continue importing nurses’ and police [officers’] uniforms instead of improving capacity of our textiles?
“At least, we have done it with the road sector by having 20 percent reserved to local contractors, and this is what we are going to do by enacting policies that will restrict certain business activities to be undertaken by local entrepreneurs, who will take up the opportunities and increase tax contributions,” she said in a recent interview.
Ms Mwanakatwe said protection of local industries will be done within Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and Southern African Development Community trade rules.
“Some of these challenges give us sleepless nights but we are actualising industrialisation policies to help safeguard infant industries for them to grow, thereby creating a level playing field,” she said.
The minister also said Government is reviewing the Control of Goods Act to enable local businesses protect the manufacturing sector, especially those industries producing edible oils.
She said these industries are adding value by processing soybeans and sunflower resulting in wealth and job creation.