The Governments of Zambia and South Africa have expressed mutual interest to collaborate in tax administration, treasury management, revenue collection, trade and revenue leakage prevention, staff exchange programmes, and investment in the north-south corridor from Kasumbalesa-Chililabombwe to South Africa.

This development came to light when Minister of Finance Felix Mutati paid a courtesy call on his South African counterpart Malusi Gigaba in Pretoria today.

Speaking during the event, Mr. Gigaba proposed an intensive collaboration programme in the near future, which will involve study tours by Zambian authorities to the South African Revenue Service, Industrial Development Corporation, Public Investments Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Land Bank and other development oriented organisations.

“Tax administration and revenue collection are our key areas of focus, therefore staff exchanges will be a great initiative for both our countries,” said Mr. Gigaba.

“We need to move quickly on this initiative so that a memorandum of understanding is signed by October 2017,” urged Mr. Gigaba.

And Mr. Mutati has said South Africa is Africa’s biggest investor,” further stating that, “its investments in Zambia are progressively creating opportunities for tax revenue collection for the treasury through the Zambia Revenue Authority.”

Mr. Mutati also said Zambia and South Africa are giants in the regional economy therefore “we have to collaborate in translating the visions of our leaders into programmes that will benefit our people and enhance private sector investment returns.”

And Zambia’s Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary for Budget and Economic Affairs Pamela Kabamba has said the country’s budget deficit is compounded by a low revenue to GDP ratio, which currently stands at 17% compared to South Africa’s 27%.

“As Zambia, we are taking measures to boost our revenue collection,” said Mrs. Kabamba, adding that, “the option of borrowing has attendant costs hence the need to up our game in domestic resource mobilisation.”

Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda also attended the event.

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