The Enterprise Ministerial Roundtable, was graced by high-level world leaders engaged in Government to Government and key Cooperating Partner discussions at the World Investment Forum.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Mrs. Subeta Mutelo was a key speaker addressing the roundtable. In her remarks, Mrs. Mutelo stated that Zambia recognizes that sustainable development can only be attained if our economic and social development embraces environmental concerns across the successive generations. She also mentioned that the Government of Zambia has placed private enterprise growth, particularly that of MSMEs at the centre of wealth and job creation through production and trade for economic development, and poverty reduction.
The Permanent Secretary further highlighted that a number of policies and initiatives are being formulated or revised to ensure a strong innovation and enterprise ecosystem that promotes the sustainable growth of MSMEs. Statics show that 97% of all businesses in Zambia are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, 88% of employment is attributed to this sector, and they account for 70% of the gross domestic product of the Economy. Hence His Excellency Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, the President of the Republic of Zambia has shown commitment to enterprise development as evidenced by the increase of the CDF from USD71, 028 to USD1.3billion aimed at developing the 156 Districts. In addition to this, the allocation to CEEC has increased from USD1.1million to USD19million in two(2) years. Youths and women, persons with disability and marginalized groups are at the centre as about 60% of the empowerment funds go these target groups.
Research and development, innovation and creativity, and value addition and capacity building through technology uptake have the potential to grow the global economy exponentially.
Therefore, through engagements and investments that may come out of different platforms, such as this World Investment Forum, the nation stands to benefit. She thanked the United Nations Secretariat and particularly the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for promoting the interests of developing countries in world trade through this forum.
Notable key speakers included Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, the Secretary General for UNCTAD, Ms. Patricia Scotland the Commonwealth Secretary General, Ministers and various country representatives from nine (9) Commonwealth Countries.