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Partner with State on development, Mwanakatwe urges investors

President Lungu (centre) accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba (right) Commerce and Trade Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe during the high level follow up second UN Conference for Landlocked Developing Countries at Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE.

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
MINISTER of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe has called on the private sector to and partner with Government to operationalise multi-facility and export-processing zones.
Mrs Mwanakatwe also called for active participation of local and foreign investors in public private partnerships (PPPs) in transportation, energy, border posts and information communication and technology infrastructure.
The minister said this in Livingstone yesterday during the opening of the private sector forum at the high-level ministerial meeting for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs).
“We need the private sector to invest and partner with governments to operationalise industrial infrastructure, such as multi-facility and export-processing zones as well as centres of excellence with the aim of fostering knowledge networks and connectedness among companies,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.
She said many LLDCs have limited capacities and depend on few commodities for export earnings.
“The international trade of LLDCs depends on transit through other countries, which are mostly developing with their own challenges, similar to those of LLDCs but extend to include additional burdens deriving from transit transport and its financial, infrastructural and social impacts,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.
She said transit developing countries need to improve on technical and administrative arrangements in transport, customs and administrative systems to which landlocked neighbours are expected to link.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said Government’s development agenda is premised on a thriving and sustainable private sector through the creation of wealth and jobs for people.
She said the country needs domestic and foreign direct investors to build and strengthen productive, trading capacities and create employment.

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