President Edgar Lungu has stressed the need to seriously interrogate the country’s successes and failures in the manufacturing industry across the country.
Speaking at the manufacturers’ meet the President seminar themed “solutions for Zambian manufacturing” at Lusaka’s Radisson blue today, President Lungu said there is need to chart the way forward to develop the manufacturing industry if Zambia is to achieve the status of a prosperous middle income country.
“We need to seriously interogate where we are as a nation in the industry, we need to interogate our successes and failures. We need to chart the way forward to develop our industry, if we are to achieve the status of a prosperous middle income country, ” he said
The President Lungu urged Zambians to rise to the occasion and take keen interest in adding value to agricultural products and minerals, among others.
The president said value addition to mangoes, tomatoes cotton, cashew nuts, and copper is the answer to the nation’s industrialization, job creation and wealth creation.
The President said that Zambia’s ultimate objective 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.
The President further said that he was aware of the challenges the manufacturing sector was currently facing and wished to take the opportunity to emphasise that his government remained committed to addressing these challenges and to creating an enabling environment for industrialisation.
The president said that challenges included unfair competition affecting the local manufacturing industry as a result of imported products, particularly those that were smuggled into the country, adding that this scenario was a source of concern to my government.
The President also said that Government was also concerned about the illicit trade as it does not only cause a leakage of the much needed revenue, but was a deterrent to the advancement of industrialisation.