A survey report by the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) competitiveness indicated increased national demand, led by an emerging middle class and greater regional demand through Zambian’s membership in SADC, kept afloat the domestic manufacturing sector.
According to the report, diversifying and upgrading the sector was necessary to achieve the vision 2030 objectives and also to achieve Government’s vision to increase its contribution to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to 18 percent.
As it stands, the manufacturing sector accounts for about 7.5 per cent of Zambia’s GDP and 83 percent of total exports.
“The textile, mental, chemical and fertilizer sectors, along with leather subsectors, have largely driven this growth,” the report said.
The SMEs competitiveness survey in Zambia interviewed 74 firms operating in the manufacturing industry and found that about 48 percent of surveyed manufacturing firms often or very often introduce a new or improved product or process.
“This was particularly true of the textile and garments industry (72 percent), followed by the paper and wood industry (47 percent),” the report said.
The report further indicated that 58 percent of the enterprises reported the quality of services offered by patent institutions as good or excellent and only 10 percent rated them poorly.