News Column

Chikwanda Challenges Business Community

February 13, 2014

Judith Namutowe

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has challenged the business community to take advantage of support services from Commercial banks to increase their participation in the country's economic development.

He said the business fraternity should endeavour to fully participate in the country's robus econimic activities.

Mr Chikwanda, who graced the official opening of the Indo Zambia Bank Mongu branch in Western Province on Tuesday, said Government would continue to put in place measures that would foster growth of the financial sector to enhance good corporate governances.

He said bad corporate governance erodes the confidence of clients at both micro and macro levels.

"This growth is significant because it will enable the bank to play an enhanced role in the economic arena of our country, and I expect sustained support from your bank to vital economic areas such as manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development," Mr Chikwanda said.

The Finance Minister said Government had allocated resources for various developments and infrastructure projects in Western Province.

Mr Chikwan said Government has in the 2014 budget allocated more than K400 million for various development and infrastructure projects in Western Province.

Indo Zambia Board chairperson Orlean Moyo said the Mongu branch accords the bank a strategic position to harness and tap into Government's sound economic policies and favourable business environment prevailing in the country.

Ms Moyo said the facility had been put in place to supplement Government's efforts in fostering a people centered growth and development throughout the country.

"With our brand promise of 'Supporting You Developing Zambia' the strategic intent of this Mongu branch is to support a multi segment customer base and establish enduring partnerships with the business community and foster growth especially through SMEs and self help groups.

Indo Zambia Bank managing director Shankardas Gupta said the bank had been consistently growing and that in 2013, its business mix grew by 20 per cent to K2.4 billion, while the continued confidence and support of its customers had seen the total deposits of the bank rise to a level of over K1.5 billion with which loans and advance portfolio crossing the level of K900 million.

He said the bank had a vast SMEs participation of approximately 9,000 accounts which comprises 50 per cent of its total loan portfolio.

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Source: AllAfrica

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