President Edgar Lungu says the government is ready to listen and take on board proposals from the business community on how to enhance the country’s economy.
President Lungu said the business community should not just concentrate on lamenting but should submit their plans to the Ministries of Commerce and Finance so that they can be incorporated in the national documents including the national budget.
The President observed that lamenting in meetings and forums without making submissions to government is unhelpful as no one would know what they want to be done for them.
He noted that many economists and financial experts in the country have specialised in theories that do not offer solutions to the challenges the country faces.
The President said people who are in business have the real picture of what is happening in the sector and are better placed to offer advice to government.
The Head of State was speaking when he met the business community in Ndola yesterday at a meeting organised by the Ndola District Chamber of Commerce and Industries held at Levey Mwanawasa stadium hall.
“You have good ideas although some of the things you have spoken about I have heard them before. But have you submitted to the Ministry of Commerce or the Ministry of Finance? It will not be of help if you just lament without submitting your proposal to government. Have you made your submission to the Minister of finance for the budget? Do not be like those theorists who just talk,” President Lungu said.
He said the business community should rise to the occasion to resuscitate the economy by producing more products to fill the gap left by imported products.
President Lungu stated that now that the country is not importing most of the products due to COVID-19, local business persons should take advantage and flood the market with thier goods.
He said businesses should find a way of operating in the new normal because COVID-19 will be around for a long time.
“Life has to continue. COVID-19 may be with us for a long time so we should find a way of opening up businesses like we have opened schools. We need to survive,” he said.
And Copperbelt Minister, Japhen Mwakalombe thanked the business community in Ndola for helping government through donations in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Mwakalombe also praised the business community for not laying off workers during the pandemic.
He explained that most business entities found better ways of working by allowing to either work from home or place them in shifts so that they could alternate.
Meanwhile, Ndola Chamber of Commerce president, John Samaras said the business community in Ndola is working hard to get the economy on its wheels after businesses were hit by the pandemic.
Mr Samaras said the business community appreciates the stimulus package which government has put in place for them.
President Lungu is on the Copperbelt for a two day working visit and is expected to leave the province today.