Reacting to the statement from Commerce minister Christopher Yaluma who said Cabinet had recently approved the national industrial policy to encourage the processing of raw materials, Chabala said it was a long overdue move, and stressed the need for policy implementation.
“We have been calling for in-depth value addition so that we have quite a lot of manufacturers adding value and also having a market. So basically, it pertains to who-be buyers at the mines and others to buy locally produced products. People should be sensitized to do that through the local content initiative itself. But for the manufacturing sector that means growth and that means expansion in terms of how quickly we can attract other industries that we don’t have currently to come and add value,” she said .
“We will definitely see an expansion in the manufacturing industry. I don’t think its enough to boost industrialization but it’s a step in the right direction. I don’t think there is anyone who can say this one thing is enough. It has to be a combination of a lot of things and effort.”
And Chabala says government should ensure that the approved National Industrial Policy is implemented so that the manufacturing sector benefits.
“I don’t think it’s a simple policy, its not just a simple policy. That already is a step in the right direction and we need to improve on implementation. So, it’s more on the implementation rather than the policy pronouncement. So, a policy can be written but if you don’t really implement it then you don’t realize the intended benefits. So, I wouldn’t trivialize it to say it’s a simple policy. I would actually say that’s one of the so many policies around the manufacturing sector that is needed. You remember that we used to have the commercial trade and industry policy which has been divided to focus on the industry policy,” said Chabala.
“And part from those efforts there are quite a number of efforts in the policy that will boost and also add to the industrialization agenda. There is obviously more, the local content policy itself yet to be released by government is also in support of industrialization and obviously it supports a lot of things including local content. So, it’s a mixture of other efforts to ensure that we realize the industrialization objective that we have.”