Saturday, February 22, 2014

Scott urges public-private partnership for job creation
By Francis Lungu
Mon 02 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT Dr Guy Scott says the government's plan to create 200,000 jobs in the next one or two years can only be attained in partnership with the private sector.

He said the government's drive for economic growth should heavily involve the private sector because without partnership, employment opportunities could not be created.

Vice-President Scott (below) was speaking on Friday evening in Lusaka during the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) annual gala dinner.

He said the PF was a pro-business government and was particular on what type of business it encouraged.

Vice-President Scott noted that Zambia was an expensive destination to do business, but that the government was doing everything possible to address challenges hindering smooth business activities.

"Zambia tends to be a high cost destination of doing business, some of it is the fault of government because of high taxes, but some businesses have taken advantage to distort the business environment with high prices. We have a very distorted private economy," he said.
He said the government was still focused on growing the economy which required huge amounts of resources.

He noted that the country's Gross Domestic Product had grown to considerable levels, giving the economy the capacity to borrow for sustainable economic growth.

Vice-President Scott said the PF government acknowledged the country's economy had to be competitive to guarantee sustainable growth, but that it required bold decisions.

"You have to borrow money to do business. The role of government is to ensure flow of money in long term-at least 10 years. We intend to maintain levels of growth…through growth, we are pulling thousands out of poverty. We want to get the benefits of this (economic) growth by pulling people out of poverty," he said.

Vice-President Scott also said Zambia had one of the highest population growth rates in the world, a situation he described as a challenge which the government had to deal with to equate with economic growth rate.

He also appealed to Zesco to increase power supply for the economy to remain competitive.

Currently, Zambia's hydro power generation capacity is 1,557 megawatts against the total demand of 1,850 megawatts. Demand for electricity has kept on growing in recent years due to factors such as population growth and increased economic activities.

And ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda said business continued playing an important role in economic development and in job creation.

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