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MANUFACTURERS must come up with a checklist of what inhibits the growth of their businesses so that solutions can be found to stimulate expansion and creation of more jobs, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.

President Hichilema said the new dawn government was ready to work with manufacturers to grow their businesses because it was fundamental to economic transformation.
He questioned why some businesses were employing about 20 people only when they had the capacity to take up about 200 employees.

President Hichilema said during the Economic Transformation Conference hosted by Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) yesterday that there was need to deal with the bottlenecks that were impeding growth of businesses.
“Colleagues, come up with a checklist of what is inhibiting growth of the sector. Your government will work with you. Let’s work together and change things,” he said.

President Hichilema said the local capacity of the businesses should be enhanced to venture into value addition and further grow the value chain.
He also assured the manufacturers that all provisions in the new budget were meant to give them a boost and not to harm them.
President Hichilema assured businesses of a conducive environment that would allow them to thrive.

“Take advantage of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). So businesses should do their part by ensuring supplies are readily available while the prices of the goods and services are affordable,” he said.

And Commerce Minister Chipoka Mulenga said his ministry plans to revise how the multi facility economic zones would contribute to the country’s economy.

He said ZAM was cardinal in the realisation of industrialisation and economic transformation.
Meanwhile, ZAM President Ashuwini Sagar called on Government to be consistent in its policies and enhance access to finances, skilled work force and adequate supply of power so that the sector could enhance value addition.

And Trade Kings Group Public Relations and Corporate Manager Bridget Kambobe said the manufacturing sector was a key driver to economic transformation.

Ms Kambobe expressed optimism that under the leadership of President Hichilema solutions to the prevailing challenges in the sector would be found.

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