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THE depreciation of the Kwacha has made locally produced products cheaper compared to imported ones and this provides a huge opportunity for manufacturers to enhance production.

The local currency is currently trading at K22.63 per United States dollar.

Local manufacturers should take advantage of the rising prices on imported products due to the depreciation of the Kwacha to promote locally produced ones, says Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) president, Lubinda Haabazoka.

Dr Haabazoka stressed that much as the depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha was a bad thing, it had made locally produced products cheaper as compared to imported ones.

“China has taken advantage of making their currency cheaper than the rest of the currency in the world and that is why you and I go to buy good there, we do not rush to the United States or England because the pound is very strong

“Because of the depreciation of the Kwacha, Zambia now has the cheapest products such as fuel,” he said when he appeared on Millennium Television’s Round table programme.

Zambian products, he said, were two times cheaper compared to imported ones.

Dr Haabazoka said much as prices of essential commodities in Zambia has gone up, they could not be compared to the increment in South Africa for example.

He said prices in South Africa had averaged 300 percent while in Zambia they had not increased more than 80 percent.

“When there is no foreign exchange, the Kwacha losses value and mind you 80 percent of the Zambian economy is owned by foreigners, South Africa is different as they control their economy.

“So off course the Zambian economy was badly hit by Covid-19 and the currency and because of that we started seeing prices escalate,” he said.

He emphasised that prices of essential goods could have increased if Government had not intervened with measures to contain them.

“We are on the right spot, we have managed to contain the increase in prices. I am seeing our ability to export commodities to neighbouring countries.

“’we need to be more productive, and it is up to us Zambians to take advantage of that,” Dr Haabazoka said.

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