JIMMY CHIBUYE, Lusaka
MINISTER of Finance Alexander Chikwanda has called on the global community to prioritise investment in research and development, technological development and innovation as critical enablers of accelerated productivity and economic growth for developing countries.
Mr Chikwanda said the success of the three pillars of sustainable development, environment, social and economic spheres, are anchored on research, technological advancement and innovation.
Mr Chikwanda said this at the 3rd international conference on financing for development in Ethiopia.
The conference runs from July 13 to July 16 this year.
This is according to a statement by Zambiaâ€™s ambassador and permanent representative to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta.
â€œCountries like Zambia, which is both a least developed country (LDC) and a landlocked developing country (LLDC), need support to enhance exports growth and value addition through the implementation of the priority areas outlined in the Istanbul Programme of Action and the Vienna Programme of Action,â€ he said.
Mr Chikwanda said Zambia recognises the importance of trade facilitation and meaningful integration into the world trade as vital requirements to ending extreme poverty by developing countries, especially LDCs and LLDCs.
He said developing countries require increased international trade, which should be supported by strategic investment in infrastructure and augmented by actions to remove barriers that hinder them from penetrating markets of developed countries.
â€œZambia calls for a wide range of measures within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework and, bilaterally, with trading partners aimed at levelling the playing field and providing for preferential treatment for developing countries, especially the LDCs and the LLDCs,â€ Mr Chikwanda said.
The minister called for expeditious conclusion of the remaining work on launching of the technology facilitation mechanism based on multi-stakeholder collaboration at the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.
He said a robust tax administration is an indispensable solution to development financing and that Zambia has been implementing reforms aimed at improving tax mobilisation.
Mr Chikwanda said countries like Zambia need strong and effective international co-operation on tax matters to take into account all developing countriesâ€™ different needs and capacities.
He said there is need to strengthen the United Nations International Committee of Experts on International Co-operation in Tax Matters to fulfil the mandate to assist member states enhance collection and operational efficiency.
Mr Chikwanda said this will be a critical milestone to addressing challenges of rampant tax evasion in developing countries.
JIMMY CHIBUYE, Lusaka