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Govt tips local contractors

Govt tips local contractors

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

IT will be difficult for the Zambian economy to recover if revenue continues to be externalised by engaging foreign contractors at the expense of the locals.

The Zambian economy will not recover if revenue continues to be externalised by engaging foreign contractors, according to the Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Chipoka Mulenga.

Mr Mulenga stated that there were many Zambian firms and individuals who operated professionally and were capable of providing quality works.

These, he emphasised, needed to be empowered by giving them work.

“We need to start believing in ourselves that we can deliver and we can rebuild our economy by ourselves,” Mr Mulenga said during a meeting with the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA).

Mr Mulenga indicated that he was impressed by the performance of the ZCSA which had continued to exceed its targets.

He said it was important that when providing its services, the ZCSA should endeavour to promote SMEs in the country by guiding them and ensuring the produce goods which were of quality and can meet the desires of the Zambian consumers.

“I am happy with the performance of the Agency despite being under funded and under staffed saying that the Agency has shown that it is committed to carrying out its mandate.

“This gives me impetus to ensure the ZCSA is well funded so that its operations are not hampered and it provides services to the business community,” Mr Mulenga said.

Earlier, ZCSA Executive Director, Peggy Kaunda, said her organisation had engaged stakeholders to ensure it made its services friendly for SMEs in the country.

Ms Kaunda noted that to this effected the Agency has developed a fee structure for SMEs to allow them access the services provided by ZCSA.

“It is important that products provided by SMEs are not only safe but of good quality and that this can only be done if the ZCSA continues to monitor the production of locally manufactured goods and also inspection of imported products which are subject to compulsory standards,” she said.

She said ZCSA had conducted 33,293 import inspections as August, 2021 due to improved controls and connection to Zambia Electronic Single Window (ZESW).

Ms Kaunda said the rollout of ZESW had improved operational efficiency for import quality monitoring.

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