By BENNIE MUNDANDO
ZAMBIA will correctly profile its trade and investment opportunities through the creation of an informative national catalogue for trade expos and investment forum, Ministry of Commerce permanent secretary Kayula Siame has said.
Speaking in Kabwe yesterday, Ms Siame said her ministry recognised the strength and economic pull-effect that expositions possessed and as such, it would continue to promote participation of private sector players in both local and international expos, shows and trade fairs.
She noted that expos by design provided the private sector, non-state actors and policy makers with a valuable platform for engagement, collaboration, interaction and networking.
Expos, she added, also provided lessons, add to increased understanding and inform policy interventions aimed at supporting for instance tourism, agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing and commerce as well as contributing to reducing the cost of doing business in our economy.
“From our perspective and in line with our mandate of promoting trade and investment, we are extremely delighted that events of this nature are attracting much attention from both public and private sectors and are being embraced by provincial administrations across the country.
“Unarguably, this trend shall enable us to correctly profile our trade and investment opportunities through the creation of an informative national catalogue for trade expos and investment forums. In this regard, this expo provides a platform to discuss topical issues affecting local business players and provide practical and effective solutions,” Ms Siame said.
She said her ministry was currently implementing programmes and strategies such as the National Investment Promotion Strategy, National Local Content Strategy and National Industrial Policy whose objectives among others are to leverage additional resources for business growth and support rapid industrialisation take-off.
She said the ministry was also developing and implementing innovative projects aimed at supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to build capacity to trade and address supply-side constraints.
She added that development and promotion of MSMEs was critical to contributing to job and wealth creation, growth of gross domestic product, and positive balance of trade, including general macroeconomic stability.
Ms Siame stated that the ministry was rapidly transforming the cooperatives movement by widening the scope from agro-based to broader sectoral and business approaches and that Government line ministries were working closely with registered cooperatives to leveraging support for capacity building to trade.