By HELEN ZULU -
THE Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) says there is need to quickly recapitalise the Development Bank of Zambia to increase access to long-term finance for businesses in the country.
ZACCI president Michael Nyirenda said Government needed to recapitalise DBZ for increased access to long-term finance as one of the strategies for growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Nyirenda said restructuring of DBZ would allow easy access to funds by small businesses thereby expanding the economy through increased economic activities.
He said yesterday when he appeared before a Parliamentary Committee on Budget chaired by Mbala member of Parliament, Mwalimu Simfukwe that restructuring the bank would encourage local participation in the economy as SMEs would have access to funds.
“The issue of DBZ in its current form needs a lot of restructuring. It actually must run independently as a business without political interference.
Some of the bad portfolio loans is that what we have seen is that some of them may not have deserved those loans if an independent team had sat down. That is probably why they are failing,
“The other point is the interest, for example some of the loans contracted in dollars but then your repayments is in kwacha, with its fluctuation, it also hits you,” he said.
Mr Nyirenda said once restructured, the bank could also be used to run concessional loans.
Mr Nyirenda said there was need for the country to encourage local companies to participate in multinational companies to ensure the country had a shame in these investments.
He said ZACCI was of the view that the level of participation by Zambians in management of multinational companies had been increasing but that more needed to be done to encourage more partnerships.
Mr Nyirenda said Government needed to formulate explicit policy that would encourage foreign investors to ha e Zambian partners for better interest representation.