By STEVEN ZANDE –
ZAMBIA has climbed 13 notches to 85 from 98 in 2017 on the 2018 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking, which considered 190 global economies.
Zambia has also featured number seven on the Top-10 reformers, with Brunei leading at one while out of 190 countries, Zambia is number two in accessing credit.
“Zambia implemented three reforms, making it easier to do business in Lusaka over the course of last year in the areas of getting credit, paying taxes and trading across borders,” the report reads.
The global 2018 Ease of Doing Business Report was released in Lusaka during an event carried live via teleconference from Washington, in United States.
Among the reforms cited were measures that make it easier for individuals or businesses to have access to credit by introduction of a new Movable Property Act and by setting up a new collateral registry.
The country has also made tax payment easier by introducing an online platform and implementation of ASCUDA World has supported easier import and export of goods and services.
Commerce Trade and Industry Ministry Permanent Secretary Kayula Siame said the Government was elated at the ranking because it indicated that Zambia’s efforts were producing results.
Ms Siame said the result of the ranking showed that the Government was keen to support the private sector in driving economic growth.
“Our role as Government is to facilitate a favourable business environment and an investment climate that attracts private sector involvement in the economy,” she.
Ms Siame said the Government was keen to facilitate expansion of the private sector because this was crucial to enhanced job creation.
She said the Government had taken an inter-ministerial approach to reforms and this was a continuous process aimed at building a strong business environment.
The report indicates that sub-Saharan African countries implemented more reforms, showing that low-income countries had the drive to effect change with a view to improving their business environments.
It notes that better business regulations were crucial to fostering more job opportunities.
Between 2003 and 2016 economies have improved regulatory processes in areas which required political will.
World Bank Group resident representative Madalo Minofu said the ease of access to credit was important to attracting the private sector and this showed positive prospects on Zambia’s economy.
Cabinet Office national coordinator – Reform Coordination Division – Mushuma Mulenga said the Government had implemented an array of reforms, which included decentralisation, in the energy sector, land administration and other measures that were anchored on the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
Mr Mulenga said the Government had facilitated stronger private sector participation in the economy, a move which contributed to Zambia achieving a competitive business environment.
He said in the next five years, the Government was targeting to rank number 50 on the ease of doing business globally.