Reduce cost of doing business, Govt urged
THE new Government should work towards reducing the cost of doing business further by cutting electricity tariffs and expediting rehabilitation of the road network, the Zambia Business Forum (ZBF) has suggested.
ZBF chairperson Chance Kabaghe said while efforts have been made to reduce the costs through the value chain, local products were still expensive because of high tariffs and the poor road network.
“We are looking forward to a business friendly administration that will come up with more user-friendly policies to motivate us so that business in Zambia flourishes. We want a further reduction in the cost of doing business,” he said.
The MMD Government had embarked on a programme to reduce the cost of doing business and the country emerged as one of the top 10 countries that had done well in business reforms.
He said deliberate policies should be introduced to protect the local business companies from cheap subsidised imports.
Mr Kabaghe said the New Government should attract more Foreign Direct vestment (FDI).
Zambia has won acclaim for being one of the countries that had reduced the cost of doing business.
However, the local business community has been calling for a further reduction citing poor roads and high electricity tariffs as among the hurdles.
Mr Kabaghe said borrowing from a commercial banks came with a huge challenge of paying back as most loans were short term and at prohibitively high rates.
The costs, he said, were eventually being passed on to the consumers.
“What we would like to see is that the interest rates run in tandem with the low inflation rate. We can’t have inflation low at eight percent and lending rates as high as 20 percent.
He said the business community was ready to help with the economic growth through high productivity and hard work.