28 March 2014

Zambia: ZFE Urged to Help Boost Economy

FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda has urged the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) to transform itself and develop ways of attracting reputable private sector players into the economy.

Mr Chikwanda said the economy needed a private sector that would help inject competitive business innovations to help diversify the economy.

He said this during the opening of the ZFE 48th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Chikwanda said the ZFE should not be preoccupied with industrial relations matters but become more involved in attracting reputable private sector players in the economy.

The Minister prodded the organisation to take up the challenge of improving the country's industrial base and help stimulate growth through export promotion.

"The Federation should also help local firms get linked to export markets and assist in widening local firm contacts with the export markets," he said

He said there were a number of projects in the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) which could be implemented through the private sector initiative and this could create budgetary leeways for Government.

ZFE president Alfred Masupha hailed the revocation of the Statutory Instruments (SIs) 33 and 55 as the two statutes had caused operational challenges in the private sector and contributed to the depreciation of Kwacha.

Mr Masupha said the two instruments had also eroded investor confidence and their revocation would go a long way in reducing some of the hurdles faced by businesses.

"We are sure that the revocation of the two instruments will restore the much-needed investor confidence and the Kwacha will be freed from excessive pressure that it had been experiencing," he said.

At the same function, Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba said there was need to come up with ways of addressing the rising inflation rates.

Mr Hikaumba also appealed to companies to desist from giving false and fraudulent company financial reports as this did not benefit economic performance.

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