THE Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has awarded various companies for their efforts in manufacturing and exports in the southern African region and abroad.
The awards were given out at the first-ever Zambia exports and manufacturing awards held in Lusaka.
ZAM Chief Executive Officer, Florence Muleya, said exports have far-fetching benefits as they create employment and foster social and economic development.
Ms Muleya said ZAM has identified the export market as an area that will spread economic growth.
“We all know that exports have far-fetching benefits aside from bringing foreign exchange, they also allow for employment in the economy, poverty alleviation and social and economic development, therefore ZAM has identified the export market as an area that will spread growth for the manufacturing sector,’’ she said.
She said the export awards were targeted at companies that have been exporting to two countries that have had a negative trade balance with Zambia in recent past years.
“We have identified two trading partners with which Zambia has had a negative trade balance and in these two economies we believe that Zambia can improve its trade balance and these are South Africa and the United States of America,” she said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, ZAM president Ezekiel Sekele has thanked the United States Aid (USAID), for being a key stakeholder in pushing the agenda for diversification in exports.
“We are delighted to see that we have reached this milestone with USAID, we started our discussion with the USAID team in February this year. We are excited because together we are pushing the economic diversification agenda as you know we dependent on copper but we need to continue for opportunities where we can grow our economy and our GDP,’’ he said.