UK Applauds Zambia Over SIS Reversal

BRITAIN has hailed the recent revocation of Statutory Instruments (SI) 33 and 55, saying this will help attract more investment to Zambia.

British High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton said it was prudent that the Government withdrew the SIs because the move would attract more investments from across the world.

The SI 33 was a policy that prohibited the quoting and payment of goods and services in foreign currency locally, while SI 55 compelled the Bank of Zambia to monitor inflows, outflows and international transactions.

“I think it was good that the Government decided to withdrawal the SIs, especially 33, this will attract investment and encourage more investors across the world,” Mr Thornton said.

He said in an interview that the Government should be vigilant and ensure that the economy remained on the right track now that the two pieces of legislation have been revoked.

On the fluctuation of the Kwacha, Mr Thornton said it had performed well compared to other currencies in many parts of the world.

“What I can say is that the Zambian Kwacha has performed well against other currencies over the years for example the rand, in the last couple of months, Kwacha has performed quiet well on the world market,” he said.

Meanwhile, Britain has eased visa requirements and the period for attaining the travel document had reduced from 15 to five working days.

“The new Priority Visa Service will cost an additional 100 Pounds. The existing service will continue to be available and we aim to process 90 per cent of non-settlement visa applications within 15 working days and 98 per cent within six months. We normally exceed these targets,” he said.

He said this when he opened the new Visa Applications Centre located at Corporate Park on Alick Nkhata Road in Lusaka.

Mr Thornton said his Government had since awarded the contract to run visa application centres to Tele-performance Across Africa to handle customer services operations throughout the world.

The firm had sub contracted Fedex to handle online applications in Zambia.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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