Tuesday, June 18, 2024

President Hichilema directs Commerce Minister to reduce business licenses costs to the barest minimum

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President Hakainde Hichilema has directed the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to ensure that business licenses costs are reduced to the barest minimum.

Mr Hichilema says there is utmost need to ensure that fees he said are hurting business operations are addressed as quickly as possible in order to support local businesses to thrive.

President Hichilema made the directive when he graced the 2022 Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) week at East Park Mall in Lusaka under the theme: “shifting the paradigm towards export led industrialization.”

Mr. Hichilema said the government stands ready to support the manufacturing sector to produce quality goods for both domestic and export markets.

The President said it is extremely important that the country deepens production of quality local goods by scaling up sourcing and utilization of local raw materials as opposed to imported raw materials.

The Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) is a key player in the realization of government’s industrialization agenda.

“We are equal partners, equal partners to produce more quality goods, to process more goods” said President Hichilema.

Mr. Hichilema said his administration has put in place policies and measures to trigger growth in the economy and the manufacturing sector stands to benefit and must seize the opportunities arising from the stabilization of the economy.

“ Our first year in office was to stabilize the country, our second year in office is to unlock all the rigidities. We are moving from stability to bringing growth.

“ We need to trigger growth” said President Hichilema.

He further challenged local producers to take advantage of the many agreements the country has with other countries and ensure that they produce quality local products that can enter the export market.

President Hichilema also paid glowing tribute to Trade Kings Group of Companies for being a leader in the country’s manufacturing sector.

Mr Hichilema urged Trade Kings to support smaller companies by subcontracting them so that the sector can have business opportunities at primary, secondary , processing and packaging levels.

The Head of State further directed the ministry of commerce to come up with its modalities of ensuring that local manufacturing companies benefit from the country’s raw materials.

“ It does not make economic sense for a company such as Zambia Metal Fabricators (ZAMEFA) to buy copper raw materials quoted at London Metal Exchange when it can easily access the raw material locally, “ stated the Republican President.

And Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM President) Ashu Sagar assured government that his association is confident with the economic policies and measures that government has put in place.

Mr. Sagar said ZAM was confident with government’s policies to industrialise the country and promote local manufacturers into exporting their products.

“We have strong belief that economic change for Zambia is now. ZAM has no intention of being blinded by the economic agenda the UPND has put in place. ” he said.

The ZAM President commended government for stabilizing the economy and urged the UPND administration to ensure that it addresses bottlenecks affecting the manufacturing sector such as multiple business licenses in order to have a competitive sector.

Mr Sagar said there is need for government to develop a value chain strategy to harness the country’s potential so that more jobs can be created.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Chipoka Mulenga said his ministry and ZAM had come up with an initiative to identify Zambians as brand ambasseders to help with promoting buying and consumption and use of local products and services.

He said the Brand Ambassadors will be expected to help market Zambians goods and services and rally Zambians into buying locally produced goods.

“ZAM and my ministry will decentralise the ZAM Week in order to involve small and medium enterprises across the country and participate in the event in their respective localities, “Mr Chipoka said.

At the same function, President Hichilema was bestowed with the Brand Ambassador role to lead the promotion of the Buy Zambia campaign.

Others picked as brand Ambassadors include Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Elias Mubanga, Science and Technology Minister Felix Mutati , Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo and Buy Zed Campaigner Edgar Ngoma.

10 COMMENTS

  1. A lot of fees are paid to these regulators. Hence you find regulators earn more money is salaries than the ministers and permanent secretaries.
    Look at ZEMA, ZCTA, Energy regulation board, Zambia Revenue Authority, Engineering institute of Zambia, Manufacturing Association of Zambia, National Construction Council, Local Councils and many more. All these demand exorbitant fees. For what ? Check the fancy offices at ZCTA? Check the fancy offices at ERB? Ho can a regulator own such expensive offices? They are simply overcharging the companies in the name of regulation.Just for a piece of paper they issue to companies.
    So do not only reduce the fees charged. Scrap some of these fancy organisation. Take back Energy regulation to the Ministry of Energy.

  2. This is mere political talk not be taken seriously. Michael Sata promised to reduce taxes if elected but when he became president he realized that without these heavy taxes he was not going to get his salary. And what is the barest minimum? It could be to reduce from K10.00 to K9.50. There lies the problem.

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  3. All above comments from PF cadres, mwanya mulechuula , you havent even started suffering yet. Wait bamambala imwe

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  4. It always bothers me when a President directs his ministers through the media or public speeches written for him. What do they do in Cabinet meetings? Is this a subtle dictatorship so that the arm of the minister is twisted? It does not look like the UPND government is a single entity. The other day, the whole Vice President had no clue about how the Auditor General’s office contracted private audit firms. While we appreciate some good things the GRZ has done, we are getting concerned about these little foxes that are beginning to spoil the harvest.

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  5. We have heard about the need to reduce cost of doing business so many times. Why don’t we hear concrete actions now? While you talk, Councils are busy increasing business licence fees and other government arms are introducing new fees. We should start talking about how many licences have been done away with in a sector like tourism. Unfortunately. even the Minister is just repeating the intentions. Have more ambassadors for raising production levels and for more manufacturers NOT vendor ambassadors only.

  6. such directives by the man in charge to public officers or those in charge don’t go well for me and to the general public, they are always not timely but just playing politics. Why wait for the Association of Manufacturing week to give such a directive on very serious matter which are a hender to the manufacturers, Too many directives its a sign that the people holding these offices or positions are ( 1 ) not upto the game ( 2 ) were appointed on political lines or due to their royalness to the powers that be ( 3 ) or they is a force which always only wait for my political go ahead . these people sit in cabinet what do they discuses and execute if always waiting for public forams to do their work.

  7. Does the President run this country alone? All policy decisions revolve on one single man. Where are his ministers? Does it meant his ministers always wait for the president to think for them?

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