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ZACCI calls for industrial policy

ZAMBIA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has urged Government to quickly put in place an industrial policy and strategies to support the growth of the private sector’s capacity to manufacture competitive products.
But Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said the Zambian economy is not resilient due to failure by businesses to utilise the enormous opportunities the country is endowed with.
In an interview on Friday, ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda said Zambian products have continued to be uncompetitive in the region despite a number of reforms aimed at improving the business environment.
“We believe that for the Zambian private sector to grow, become more competitive and take advantage of regional and global trade opportunities, there is need for value addition in our goods and services and coherent sectoral strategies for various products.
“However, many impediments stand in the way of the business community’s capacity,” he said.
Mr Sakulanda said ZACCI is concerned that to date, Zambia has no proper and coherent industrial policy and subsequent strategies.
“As such, Government must expedite the process of coming up with an industrial policy with clear targets to support the growth of the private sector’s capacities. Government must ensure that there is harmony in the various policies and sectoral strategies that are being put in place to avoid confusion,” he said.
In a separate interview, Ms Mwanakatwe said the private sector has potential which the captains of the industry are failing to actualise.
She said it is shameful that businesses are failing to utilise the various opportunities in the country.
“If we don’t do it, someone will come and do it for us. Imagine, the Dairy Association of Zambia produces 465 million litres of milk per month but only 65,000 litres is processed and sold to Shoprite, the rest goes to waste…,” Ms Mwanakatwe said.