GOVERNMENT is revising the national industrialisation policy to refocus primarily on value addition and increase citizen participation in manufacturing, says Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe.
Speaking in an interview, Ms Mwanakatwe said her ministry would continue to facilitate and promote growth of the manufacturing sector as a key priority.
She said Government intended to put in place a policy framework that would expand the role of small and medium enterprises in value addition.
“We are revising the national industrialisation policy to refocus primarily on value addition and increased citizen participation in manufacturing,’’ she said.
Ms Mwanakatwe said Government’s goal to revise the national industrialisation policy was to ensure that manufacturing and industrialisation contributed effectively to the diversification agenda.
She said there was improved growth in the manufacturing industry between 2011 and 2014 as a result of increased investments in mining and agriculture sectors.
She said the recorded growth signified that interventions to ensure value addition to locally available natural resources was yielding desired results.
Ms Mwanakatwe said the promotion of local and foreign direct investment was critical to value addition and diversification.
She said annual investment pledges has also averaged US$6.5 billion since change of Government in 2011.
“The various investment missions undertaken by Government this year alone have resulted in pledged investments in excess of US$4.2 billion.
“Key investment pledges recorded in 2015 include establishment of railway line from Chipata to Mpulungu harbour and copper cable manufacturing to be located in Lusaka Multi-Economic Facility Zones (MFEZ),” she said.
Ms Mwanakatwe said investment pledges were an important measure for investor confidence as they represented real intent by those who seek to make Zambia a destination for their money.
She also said Government continued to implement targeted investment climate and business environment reforms through the private sector development interventions.
She explained that the overall objective of improving business environment was to increase private investment, and increase domestic and regional trade.
“Private sector development provides for expanding job opportunities, increased supply of goods and services and tax revenues,” she said.