The Zambia Chamber of Commerce, Trade and Industry (ZACCI) has called on local investors to capitalize on the proposed reforms targeted for state owned enterprises in the country.
During his 2023 National budget presentation in Parliament on Friday, Minister of Finance and National Planning Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane stated that Government is developing a state-owned enterprise policy to strengthen their governance and improve performance.
ZACCI President Chabuka Kawesha says local investors should utilize the opportunity to maximize on their potential.
“ The likelihood of state owned enterprises, whether operating independently or as consortiums , embracing public private partnership models cannot be far-fetched, “ he said.
During his Budget presentation, Dr Musokotwane the new dawn administration will introduce a framework for conducting periodic assessment of state-owned enterprises to ensure appropriate interventions.
“ Stronger governance is also required because of some questionable investment decisions that were made by state enterprises. In particular, cash rich state enterprises shall not be allowed to buy businesses that are of no strategic value or being made to buy existing businesses where the vendors believe only a state-owned enterprise can agree to pay an inflated price, “ he emphasised.
Meanwhile , Mr. Kawesha also called on the Industrial Development (ID ) to embrace Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multi-national enterprises as they undertake state owned enterprise reforms.
The ZACCI President saying in a statement that OECD guidelines must be at the core and followed by Zambia’s State Owned Enterprises ( SOEs ).
“ In principle there are recommendations from governments and in some cases key stakeholders to multinational enterprises on responsible business conduct that in many cases will attract capital, commercial and technical investment, as they can play a major role in job creation threefold through secondary operatives, “ he emphasised.
Mr Kawesha added that the reformed SOEs must build capacities to undertake Bankable Feasibility Studies and Reports (BFSR) and within agreed time frames look at expansions, public listings and tangible contributions to Zambia’s enterprise initiatives.
“The State-Owned Enterprises must also attract affordable financing,” he said.
Mr. Kawesha highlighted that the OECD guidelines set standards for responsible business conduct on various issues such as human rights, labour rights, and the environment.
He further added that ZACCI recognises efforts government plans to deploy regarding VAT concessions and other incentives.
He cited the milk and the information and communication and technology (ICT) sub-sectors as some of the notable areas.
On Friday, Dr. Musokotwane announced in the National Assembly during the 2023 National Budget address on the State-Owned Enterprise Management.
He in his address said to increase the performance of the SOEs, government is developing a policy to strengthen their governance and performance.