Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Christopher Yaluma says government will soon introduce a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will compel foreign and local companies in the country to buy protective wear and other products from Zambian companies.
Mr Yaluma said government is working hard to ensure that local industries are supported and protected from unfair trade which is mainly perpetuated by foreign companies.
The Minister said this yesterday after visiting Unity Group of Companies in Ndola.
Mr Yaluma said he is delighted that the group of companies has created over 400 jobs for people especially women.
He stated that it is encouraging that local companies have responded well to government’s industrialization policy and are creating jobs for the local people.
“We must promote you people and the only way we can promote you is by making sure that we direct all people utilizing these local and foreign companies to drive them to buy from you through an SI so that they don’t run away,” Mr Yaluma said.
Mr Yaluma described his trip to the Unity Group of Companies as an eye opener to the many challenges that local companies are facing adding there is more to be done in order to protect the industry for the benefit people.
“We must justify the reason why a South African company should import protective wear, could it be game boots, shoes and any other product. I’m delighted to see what I have seen here at your company. I thought those protective wear never came from here but outside,” he said.
And Unity Group of Companies Managing Director, Kam Shah bemoaned the high levels of dumping of foreign products on the Zambian market.
Mr Shah said the situation has created unfair competition that is killing local industries saying the Ministry of Commerce should quickly move in and protect local companies.
“There is need to protect local companies from unfair competition that has been necessitated by dumping of foreign goods more especially Zimbabwe. These foreign companies will pack their bags and go but as local companies we are here to create wealth for our people,” Mr Shah said.
Meanwhile, Ndola Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, John Samaras said Zambian businesses have the capacity to grow the economy when fully supported.
Mr Samaras emphasized the need for value addition by local companies to maximize on foreign exchange.