North-Western Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Mukumbi Kafuta has appealed to government to remove bottlenecks affecting trade between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mr Kafuta says DRC is a potential market for agro products, but that small and medium enterprises are finding it difficult to take products to the neighbouring country.
He said government should come up with aggressive ways that will help SMEs penetrate the Congolese market and stimulate growth and job creation.
Mr Kafuta was speaking in Solwezi yesterday during an interactive meeting with Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Chipoka Mulenga.
He said government should create export opportunities for SMEs through regular international business to business conferences and exhibitions.
” We would like to propose that government come up with innovative initiatives aimed at stimulating Zambia’s economic stability, growth and job creation,” Mr Kafuta said.
He said there is need to link manufacturers, producers and suppliers to Congolese companies which provide ready market for products and services.
Mr Mulenga said government remains committed to ensuring growth of SMEs as they are important to economic growth.
Mr Mulenga said government is working on reducing the number of licenses that a business owner has to pay before registering a business.
” We will soon be reducing the number of certificates that you need to pay for before a business is registered. Sometimes people run out of capital because of paying for too many things,” he said.
The Minister said there is so much rigidity in chambers adding that new players are finding it difficult to do business because some chamber members are not embracing them.
” You cannot afford to be rigid colleagues, embrace everyone. We cannot have the same people doing business alone,” he said.