British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane-Dyet says government should consider how investors interpret certain policies regarding taxes or how mining companies are treated before implementing them.

And High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet says the 2018 FIC Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing Trends Report is significantly worrying because the proportion of suspicious transactions has gone up.

Speaking to journalists after the launch of the FIC report, Friday, High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said it was important for government to consider investor perception before implementing certain policies.

“As British High Commissioner I want to see more business being done by British companies with Zambia so I am very keen to stabilise and strengthen investor confidence, that’s part of my work with the government on that so it is a message which I relay to the government all the time that when considering policies, whether it is about taxes or about employment laws, the way the mining companies are treated and so on, it is really important the government keeps an eye on how those policies will be interpreted by international investors. That is how poverty will be eradicated in Zambia. Governments can’t end poverty on their own, other countries around the world where poverty has been eradicated, it’s been done by the private sector and part of that is foreign investment,” High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said.

He said investors were also waiting to see how government would handle the debt challenge.

“Debt is one of the big challenges facing Zambia and how Zambia tackles that huge accumulation of debt, how they go about that will dictate to a large extent how the international markets and the investors view Zambia,” he said.

And High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said the FIC report was worrying.

“The 2018 trends report is really significant. It is significant in a worrying way because it shows that the trends are negative. The proportion of financial transactions has gone up by 33 per cent but it is positive in the sense that the FIC is working together with the law enforcement agencies with support from government to tackle corruption. And the last point I’d make is I sometimes wonder whether everyone in Zambia understands how dangerous corruption is. Corruption kills people because government money which is stolen corruptly is money which then can’t be spent on education or Health, social cash transfers, supporting poor Zambians and saving lives,” said High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet.