Business

State’s stance foreign traders hailed, but…

KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
THE ban of foreign involvement in selected businesses will reduce capital externalisation in the long term, which is one of the contributors of the fragile Kwacha, as resources will remain in the country, Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has observed.
However, ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda says the move will undermine Zambia’s status as an investment destination of choice.
Reacting to Government’s recent move to ban foreigners from engaging in chicken rearing and block making in quest to empower local nationals, Mr Sakulanda said yesterday that some foreign investors have a tendency of externalising capital instead of reinvesting it in the country.
“Copper prices are down at the moment and this is making the Kwacha vulnerable but, the situation becomes worse when foreign investors take out their money, which they have to change in dollars thus increasing the demand for the dollar, currently in low supply,” he said.
Mr Sakulanda, however, said the ban will make the country unfriendly for investment resulting in investors shunning to invest in Zambia.
He said the move will also result in the increase in the cost of products as few Zambians are engaged in large-scale business activities.
“For instance, the block making industry is characterised by Lebanese, Turkish and Chinese investors and there are very few Zambians engaged in the business so it means that there will be no one to fill the gap because large scale block making machines are expensive and this will increase the cost of building,” he said.
Mr Sakulanda said Government should have empowered local entrepreneurs with finance and capacity building.

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