The Commonwealth Enterprise and Business Council has invited newly appointed Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe as a dignitary speaker at the Commonwealth Business Forum to be held in the United Kingdom.

Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council Lord Marland of Ostock, Alistair Johnson extended the invitation when he delivered a congratulatory message to Mwanakatwe at her office in Lusaka, Tuesday.

Johnson said the Forum which would be held on the sidelines of the April 2018 Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Summit in London, would also provide an opportunity to showcase the soundness of Zambia’s economic reforms and articulate the progress made in stabilizing economic fundamentals and setting the groundwork for sustained growth.

“At the Forum, investors will not only be keen for updates on Zambia’s growth prospects but also interested in understanding the policy-legislative reforms that you are pursuing to create a stable investment climate. The event will offer Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) opportunities to participate in various activities such as the commonwealth export champion program and to benefit from the commonwealth mentorship programme, ” said Johnson.

Johnson also added that many business sector players in Britain admired the determination of the Zambian government to stand on its own feet through implementation of transformational programs such as the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme (ESGP).

And accepting the invitation, Mwanakatwe, who reiterated the country’s recognition of the United Kingdom as its strategic partner, said the Forum would be an opportunity to attract business and solid investment to Zambia.

“We have a significant opportunity to utilize the Forum as a platform for attracting business and solid investment to Zambia. For us it will also be an occasion to articulate our reform trajectory and also a chance to benchmark with commonwealth countries that are doing better than we are at the moment.”

The Commonwealth Business Forum is a global event which brings together Heads of government, ministers, and senior business leaders from around the world. The 2018 event will provide an opportunity for high level dialogue on trade and investment between business and government’s from across the commonwealth and beyond.

The Forum will also be an opportunity to identify areas in which the Commonwealth can help its member countries to access modern financial services, harness technology and innovation, attract inward investment and improve sustainable business practices particularly through private sector collaboration. And others to be visited are Securities and Exchange Commission, Pensions and Insurance Authority, and the Ministry’s grant aided institutions.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Finance Head of Communications Chileshe Kandeta disclosed in the same statement that the newly appointed Minister of Finance yesterday embarked on an orientation programme for her new role.

“The newly appointed Minister of Finance embarks on an orientation programme today (yesterday), she will soon be meeting Zambia’s Cooperating Partners and other players in the financial and economic sectors to engage on matters of mutual development interest. The programme includes visits to the Bank of Zambia, Zambia Revenue Authority, and the Industrial Development Corporation,” stated Kandeta.

And Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has written to the World Bank, The African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to inform them of the replacement of Felix Mutati with Mwanakatwe as Minister of Finance and as such, Mwanakatwe automatically becomes the governor on the respective boards of the three multi-lateral institutions.