‘Economic hardships an opportunity for reform’


UNITED States of America (USA) Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz says Zambia’s current economic hardships should be seen as an opportunity for all to help effect reforms.
Mr Schultz also said the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) can play a role in effecting transformation.
He has welcomed any opportunity to meet with the AmCham board to discuss how the board can better serve Zambia’s business community to help effect positive change.
The ambassador was speaking in Lusaka on Friday at the AmCham thanksgiving dinner, where he said he is thankful to be in Zambia, a warm and wonderful country, which he and his family appreciate.
“Zambia – as we know all too well – is not without its share of problems: but as we move forward through this difficult period of load-shedding, depreciating currency, and rising prices, it’s important to remember that we have before us an opportunity to help effect change; to help Zambia move forward. We have a saying that a crisis is too good an opportunity to waste,” he said.
Mr Schultz said he wants to see Zambia start planting trees, reducing unaffordable subsidies, and reprioritising government spending towards education, among other sectors, that will benefit from the country’s long-term development.
He said with the right reforms, Zambia can emerge as not just one of Africa’s most vibrant economies but also as a leader in the region.
Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe is hopeful that AmCham will help promote start-ups and build businesses that will thrive and grow to be reputable companies.
In a speech read by Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Raymond Mpundu, Ms Mwanakatwe said the chamber could help promote budding entrepreneurs by facilitating their participation in trade fairs in America to expose their products and ideas.
“My ministry and the Zambia Development Agency are here to be of assistance in promoting Zambia in the USA and to also help the chamber in its goal of facilitating trade between the two countries,” she said.

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