Government will present 11 bills to parliament in order to expedite business regulation and consolidate private sector participation in economic development.
Government is therefore in the process of reviewing business legislation.Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said her ministry will by June present the bills that will promote doing business easily in the country by reducing unnecessary licensing.Mrs. Mwanakatwe said government will continue to provide a conducive environment to promote investment and business growth.
The minister however expressed concern with the inability of Zambian exports to penetrate the British markets.Mrs. Mwanakatwe said government is saddened that Zambia has a negative trade deficit with the UK in excess of US$150 million.She was speaking last night when she launched the Zambian chapter of the British Chamber of Commerce at the British High Commissioner’s Residence in Lusaka.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe has since expressed optimism that the British Chamber of Commerce will provide a platform to spur private sector participation and cement trade and investment between Zambia and Britain.
The minister pointed out that the private sector was the engine for economic growth and national development.She challenged the private sector to develop, deepen and integrate local content in production in order to be competitive on the international market.Mrs. Mwanakatwe added that government will work towards signing bilateral and multilateral agreements with other countries in order to promote and enhance trade.
And speaking earlier, British High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton said the newly launched British Chamber of Commerce will enhance trade and investment between the two countries.Mr. Thornton also disclosed that UK business interests in Zambia have grown surpassing other countries as Zambia’s foremost trade and investment partner.
He said according to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), British Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Zambia grossed US$509 million covering the agriculture, mining, manufacturing and banking sectors.The High Commissioner has since commended government for engaging mining companies in dialogue over the new mine tax system that requires mining firms to pay royalty tax.