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Ground breaking venture launched at the Lusaka South - MFEZ

Hon. Alexander Chikwanda during the LS-MFEZ Ground breaking ceremony

The staff at the Ministries of Finance and Commerce has never lost sight of what they are collectively working towards.

For a long time Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has championed the need for Multi-Facility Economic Zones to bring economic development and skills transfer through employment to create wealth for Zambians.

‘We have sold the Multi-Facility Economic Zone at home and abroad. However, all the effort that we have been putting in was like a song in the wilderness, but today finally we have come to witness the ground breaking ceremony for the first company that is going to take possession of their site in this project,’ minister of Commerce Hon Emmanuel Chenda shared his thoughts on what the occasion meant to the technocrats and leaders as they bring the Zone to fruition.

‘We are doing everything possible to ensure that we enhance and upscale the Private Sector Development Reform programs. We want to ease the process and cost of doing business in Zambia, and attract more investment to come in Zambia because we want to create wealth for our people. We want to create jobs for our people and it is through investments such as this that we are going to be able to attain these objectives.’

 The very busy guest of honour, the minister of Finance Hon Alexander Chikwanda was equally delighted by this historic moment.

He said the Zone is expected to act as a catalyst for industrial development in Zambia and contribute to the attainment of Vision 2030, which aims to make Zambia a prosperous middle-income country by 2030.

‘Over 400 enterprises and establishments are expected to set up base in the zone in the next few years and create thousands of jobs for Zambians.’

Chikwanda said NRB Pharma Zambia Limited was investing US$10 million to construct the first World Health Organisation certified pharmaceutical plant in Zambia that will initially employ 110 people.

The building by NRB Pharma Zambia will consist of two manufacturing plants and one building that will house a laboratory, office and commercial stores. One of the manufacturing plants will produce tablets and the other will produce capsules.

The plants will initially manufacture drugs that will treat malaria and HIV/AIDS, with future expansion to include pharmaceuticals that will be identified to be in demand in the sub-Sahara Africa.

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Zambia, Ashok Kumar said the production of pharmaceutical in Zambia was a step forward that will not only provide quality drugs at competitive prices to the local population but will also export to the region.

Kumar said Zambia was a country with lots of resources and yet its people remained poor. He said besides mining, which was already being exploited, it has great industrial growth potential in agriculture, health, education and tourism to remove poverty.

‘Our format of providing assistance to our people is through the India-Africa Foreign Summit, India provides scholarships for capacity building. Our whole program is on capacity building. Our lines of credit are part of the capacity building. There is a lot of money, US$ 5 billion, to be spent in India-Africa business in three years and not even half of it has been spent so far.’

‘We are very proud to be the first to have the privilege to sign the lease agreement and perform the groundbreaking ceremony in the Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic Zone,’ Bandeka, chairperson NRP Group said.

The NRB Group whose headquarters is in Goa, India is a major mining company producing about 1.5 million tonnes of iron ore which it exports primarily to Japan, China and Korea.

Bandeka said the company also diversified its business by venturing into owning and managing hotels as well as engaging in the engineering sector.

Its pharmaceutical company in the Lusaka South Multi Facility Zone is expected to commence operations in August 2014.

The Zone is expected to sign other lease agreements soon with Zambia Breweries for a malt processing plant at US$ 33 million, Alliance One Zambia Limited, JTI Leaf Zambia Limited for a tobacco processing and warehousing facility amounting to US$ 50 million, and Roland Imperial Tobacco Company Limited for a cigarette making plant worth US$ 5 million.

Since the Lusaka South Multi Facility Zone began inviting business proposals the Zone has received over 80 investor applications, which are currently being scrutinized.

Category: Notebook | Added by: Mutale (22 November 2013)
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