Effective competition critical to economic growth

EFFECTIVE competition is one of the critical instruments for increasing economic growth through enhanced innovations, says Commerce Cinistry director for domestic trade Sunday Chikoti.

Mr Chikoti said competition also enhanced efficiency and productivity and ensured social gains by overall poverty reduction and greater consumer welfare.

He was speaking during the national orientation workshop under the theme “making competition reforms work for people” organised by CUTS.

Mr Chikoti said competition reforms were therefore key markets for enhancing social and economic welfare in developing countries like Zambia. He said it was one of the responsibilities for his ministry to ensure that competition reforms were promoted in Zambia.

“You may wish to know that Zambia has undergone new fundamental changes in trade and economic policy since the early 90s. This has resulted in the considerable liberalization of the regime in all spheres of the economy,” he said.

Mr Chikoti said it was therefore necessary for competition policy and law to be developed to ensure a healthy and fair competitive environment and stimulate private sector growth.

“This project fits well in the ministry’s agenda as forces of competition create pressure on business to be efficient and provide incentives to be innovative in producing goods and services valued by consumers,” he said.

Speaking at the same function, CUTS board chairperson Mike Muleba said his organization had implemented a project in four developing countries, Zambia, Ghana, India and Philippians to do with competion.

Mr Muleba observed that there was need to develop a competition framework where the private sector and Government could work together to enhance competition regimes.

“This project has helped us demonstrate how great attention to competition reforms can help achieve tangible benefits for consumers and producers in developing countries.

“The crew project was conceived with the objective of promoting unified living for consumers and producer realizing that resources are not always available to foster competition reforms,” he said.

And CUTS international centre coordinator Simon Ngo’na said the organisation had received tremendous support from the competition authority.

Mr Ngo’na said the idea of the project came up as a result of certain competition reforms.