We’re for fair trade prac­tices - Lungu

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By AN­NIE ZULU

GOV­ERN­MENT re­mains com­mit­ted to ad­dress­ing un­fair com­pe­ti­tion and il­licit trade that is de­ter­ring the coun­try’s dream of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu has said.

Pres­i­dent Lungu noted that the lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try was fac­ing un­fair com­pe­ti­tion due to im­ported prod­ucts, par­tic­u­larly those that were smug­gled into the coun­try.

The Pres­i­dent was speak­ing yes­ter­day dur­ing the “meet the Pres­i­dent sem­i­nar,” or­gan­ised by the Zam­bia As­so­ci­a­tion of Man­u­fac­tur­ers (ZAM).

“As Gov­ern­ment, we are also con­cerned about the il­licit trade as it does not only cause a leak­age of the much needed rev­enue, but it is a de­ter­rent to the ad­vance­ment of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion,” Pres­i­dent Lungu said.

He said Gov­ern­ment was do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pro­mote the con­sump­tion of lo­cally man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts, as it was cru­cial to ad­vanc­ing Zam­bia’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion agenda and na­tional de­vel­op­ment.

“It is clear that en­hanc­ing lo­cal con­tent or the pur­chase and use of lo­cal prod­ucts in var­i­ous value chains is cru­cial for Zam­bia’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion agenda.”

He in­di­cated that it was there­fore im­por­tant that all Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments make con­certed ef­forts to pro­cure lo­cally man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts and give such prod­ucts pref­er­ence in all gov­ern­ment con­tracts.

Pres­i­dent Lungu said pro­posed ex­ten­sion and ex­pan­sion of the five per­cent sur­tax on im­ported prod­ucts that were lo­cally man­u­fac­tured as a mea­sure to pro­mote lo­cal sourc­ing and the growth of lo­cal in­dus­tries.

Pres­i­dent Lungu said his ad­min­is­tra­tion was also en­gag­ing re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments in the re­gion to ad­dress var­i­ous bot­tle­necks lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers face when ex­port­ing so as to cre­ate a level play­ing field for them.

“Our ul­ti­mate goal as gov­ern­ment is to at­tain a proudly in­dus­tri­alised Zam­bia, a re­gional hub for un­equalled man­u­fac­ture of high qual­ity Zam­bian prod­ucts to com­pete favourably on the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional mar­ket,” Pres­i­dent Lungu said.

ZAM pres­i­dent Rosetta Cha­bala said the or­gan­i­sa­tion wants pref­er­en­tial treat­ment for its mem­bers.

Ms Cha­bala as­sured that ZAM was equal to the task and ca­pa­ble of con­tribut­ing to the growth of the econ­omy.

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