Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has urged manufacturers to enhance their production capacity in order to boost the country’s export portfolio.
JCTR Social and Economic Affairs Manager Innocent Ndashe said without production capacity enhancement, the Zambian manufacturing industry will not benefit from the African continental free trade area.
He said the regional trade facility has potential to boost the performance of the economy once there is increased production and supply.
For this to take place, we need to take advantage of what we are good at and enhance productivity in that sector and further enhance support that government gives small scale farmers to help enhance productivity and develop packaging of whatever they are producing,Mr. Ndashe.
Meanwhile, Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) Vice President Chipego Zulu Chileshe said enhancing production capacity is not something that happens over night.
Mrs. Chileshe said it requires input from various sectors and addition of value to mineral resources before exporting them.
By creating the space for that through policy reforms, that will impact investment into the sector and also attract linkages between the mining sector and manufacturers,Mrs. Chileshe.
The ZAM vice president added that production capacity enhancement is about quality reforms and creating competitiveness for the forms that are anchored on the cost of production.
We need to ask questions like is the energy that we use in our plants as affordable as possible? Is financing in the country as affordable as we need it to be? Are there any mechanisms that can be put in place to support the local industry so that they can invest in their plants and take advantage of the export market?Mrs. Chileshe.
Mrs. Chileshe further said universities must strive to produce a quad-re of students with the needed skills that would be able to add value and support industrialization once they join the manufacturing industry.