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State urges upstart firms to team up

GOVERNMENT has urged upstart businesses to team up and create joint venture linkages to compete effectively with foreign firms.
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said joint-enture linkages are key to growing the manufacturing industry in the country.
“This is something that we are trying to get involved as Government, as well to ensure that we grow and promote Zambians to excel to levels of competing with foreign firms.
“But to do that, we need a lot of cash injection and also we need concerted efforts from funding institutions  to support local firms to venture into manufacturing,” Mr Yaluma said in an interview in Kitwe recently.
He, however, said traditional banks are very difficult to convince to give firms money to venture into manufacturing without proper collateral.
He also said Government is trying to turn around the situation by coming up with its own funding institution which will waiver most of the funding requirements.
“We as a government, we are willing now to guarantee for a Zambian who meets our own requirements to guarantee for his or her loan and at the same time we are trying to educate Zambians to go into joint ventures… It is something that Government is putting an effort to ensure that most firms go into manufacturing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Yaluma is impressed with the participation of exhibitors at the just-ended Copperbelt mining trade expo and conference slated for May 5-6 in Kitwe.
Over 1,500 visitors, 100 exhibitors and 200 conference delegates attended the event, which also featured free practical workshops.
The event was supported by Zambia Chamber of Mines, Zambian Association of Manufacturers, Association of Zambian Minerals Exploration Companies and the Lusaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Other firms that supported the event were Sandvik Mining, Barloworld Equipment, ZCCM-IH, Schlumberger Airlift, Murray & Roberts, Manitou Group, Atlas Copco and Tri Pump Engineering Limited.