Commerce Trade and Industry Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has expressed concern over the poor performance of the country’s manufacturing sector.

Mwanakatwe said statistics from the Central Statistical Office show that the wholesale and retail sectors are now the largest share of overall Gross Domestic Product averaging 18.3 percent per annum.

She was speaking at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka this morning when she officiated at the dissemination of research findings by Zambia Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) on expansion of supermarket chains in the country.

She said the manufacturing sector’s contribution remains a paltry 9.2 percent.

Mwanakatwe however said her office remained committed to addressing factors that were holding back the manufacturing industry and assisting local firms to have access to lucrative markets.

The minister said she was delighted to have launched a report titled “Expansion of Regional Supermarkets: Implications for Local Suppliers in Zambia” as it brought together the manufacturing and retail sectors.

And ZIPAR Executive Director Pamela Kabaso said evidence based research was one of the ways that could assist the country to industrialise.

She further reiterated ZIPAR’s commitment to conducting research and providing policy guidance to government.

The ZIPAR report has revealed that most domestic firms shun supplying supermarkets because of the long credit period imposed for payment of supplied goods.