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FIRMS URGED TO EXPLOIT E-COMMERCE

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
BUSINESSES should exploit eCommerce to quickly recovery from effects of COVID-19, says Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) National Secretary, Mutisunge Zulu.

Mr Zulu stressed that commerce as an enabler must be embraced by business entities to aid Zambia’s recovery.
He was speaking at the eCommerce Expo and Conference for 2020.
Mr Zulu said that ecommerce was still received with inactivity by many players that preferred transacting cash.
This, Mr Zulu explained, raised a confluence of concerns ranging from tax evasion to lack of trust in the platform value chain which needed assurance by service providers to earn confidence of local users.
“Without a healthy labour force, Covid-19 has shown us that there would be no businesses let alone technology, an under played factor of production, which covers eCommerce has, now more than ever, become a key enabler in supporting operational resilience of businesses. “There has been increased innovation in the local eCommerce space as entities such as Afridelivery have tapped the curve to partner with firms such as Lafarge Plc to deliver cement to client’s door steps,” Mr Zulu said. Mr Zulu however bemoaned the volume of imports through eCommerce which were potentially adding pressure on the exchange rate.
Zambia’s private sector has borne the brunt of disease pandemic with some resorting to triming wages while others have outright laid off staff.
There is more realisation that embracing eCommerce allows for small businesses to increase their contribution to costs thereby allowing for sustainable survival post Covid-19. Zambia is expected to grow out of the forecast recession of -4.2 percent by slightly under two percent in 2021.

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