PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the Zambian Government has launched an industrialisation programme which aims at transforming the industrial sector to create more than one million jobs in the next five years.
President Lungu said to that effect Government has embarked on programmes aimed at reducing the cost of doing business through the implementation of various business reforms.
“Notable programmes among others is the “industrialization and job creation strategy” which aims at transforming the industrial sector by creating more than one million formal jobs in five years,” he said
Speaking when he commissioned the Dangote cement plant in Masaiti, Ndola, on Tuesday, President Lungu said it was in that regard that Government was committed to providing a conducive environment for business to grow and prosper.
President Lungu said was the reason that his Government wanted to engage the private sector because it was the engine for economic growth and development.
He further pointed out that through the implementation of these policies and reforms, the World Bank 2015 doing business report ranked Zambia 10th in Africa, 9th in sub-Saharan Africa, seventh in SADC and fifth in COMESA in terms of the ease of doing business index.
President Lung said further, the Global Competitive report 2014 to 2015 ranked Zambia number 96 globally and as the eighth most competitive country in Africa.
The President told the gathering that Zambia offered a huge regional market as it is a member of both COMESA and SADC free trade areas with a population of more than 400 million.
These regional blocks were currently implementing major infrastructural works in the framework of north-south corridor which has further increased the demand for cement in the region.
He said in addition, the Great Lakes Region offered untapped market opportunities for commodities such as cement.
“Let me assure you that the location you have picked for your investment is the best. I wish to indicate here that Zambia has enjoyed cordial bilateral relations with the great nation of Nigeria,
“ It is for this reason that my Government shall continue to seek to expand our trade and investment relations with Nigeria as evidenced by a steady rise in trade activities between our two countries,” said President Lungu