Friday, October 23, 2009

It is govt’s responsibility to provide conducive environment for investments – MUZ

It is govt’s responsibility to provide conducive environment for investments – MUZ
By Florence Bupe
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

THE Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has said it is the government’s responsibility to provide a conducive environment in the extractive industry for enhanced foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.

Making a presentation at the just-ended joint Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the International Federation of Chemical Energy, Mine and General Workers Union seminar on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in extractive industries, MUZ director of research and information Charles Muchimba said the state of the domestic economic environment was crucial in determining the level of investment inflows.

“It is government’s responsibility to provide an environment that is conducive for both local and foreign investments. The local environment is critical for the promotion of foreign investment inflows to Zambia and the region,” said Muchimba.

And MUZ president Rayford Mbulu has called for more effective regulation of the employment policies in order to advantage local people in extractive industries.
He noted that the region in general and Zambia in particular, had not benefited as desired from industries such as mining because of the existing policy framework.

“What we have discovered is that countries in the region have had similar experiences. We all have had not much benefit in terms of FDI from extractive industries as the benefits go to the shareholders,” Mbulu said. “The lack of technical transfer has also contributed to reduced benefits.”
Mbulu also charged that the lack of transparency in the privatisation of most industries and the non- involvement of trade unions in the privatisation process had limited levels of benefits.

He further said the continued low investment in infrastructure was hindering investment inflows.

Mbulu said there was need for countries to come up with common legislation in extractive industries as a way of addressing the challenges being faced.
“We need to come up with common legislation across the region to avoid transplanting ill practices in the industry from one country to the other,” said Mbulu.

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