24 December 2012

Zambia: FQM Backs Strict Mineral Exports Monitoring

FIRST Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM) has welcomed Government's measure to strictly monitor mineral exports and proceeds.

But the company said the proposed steps should not introduce bureaucracy in the shipping process.

FQM head of tax Adam Little said instead, there should be greater competitiveness of 'ease of doing business,' noting that this was indispensable to accelerated job creation, eradication of poverty and corruption.

"It is within the context of greater competiveness that FQM had taken the position to welcome the planned measures by Government," he said.

Mr Little said FQM had no concerns for as long as the proposed steps did not diminish Zambia's competiveness in doing business.

"We have no concerns. However, if the proposed measures create substantial bureaucracy, this will eventually create additional costs and slow down realisation of profits and taxes to accrue to investors and Government. There is a fine balance to be struck," he said.

Mr Little noted that in one of the highly developed Asian nations, it took 35 seconds to clear goods at border points.

"As long as fundamentals of ease of doing business were enhanced rather than diminished, Zambia can be expected to be on path of meaningful economic growth that benefits its citizens in more tangible ways," he said.

He said Zambia's doubled land-locked status made it difficult to be cost competitive as border transfers add to costs of both imports and exports.

Easing the movement of people and goods can give Zambia economic competitive advantage.

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