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Zones are of mutual benefit
|Zambia is an emerging market with very attractive characteristics for investors. |
To attract more foreign investors Zambia desperately needs to improve its infrastructure to sustain its development and economic growth.
Among the sectors where infrastructure investment is most needed is housing and for transport projects, such as highways, roads and bridges.
Zambia China Trade and Economic Cooperation Zone (ZCCZ) hosted the first ever Zambia International Construction Material and Light Industrial Trade Fair under the theme ‘Value Addition Through Zambia – China Economic Cooperation’.
The fair showcased products that will address the infrastructure needs on the market and was also an opportunity to boost trade and investment opportunities by local and foreign companies in Zambia.
A total of 90 enterprises participated and showcased their various products and services. 60 percent of these were Zambian enterprises whilst the rest of the participants came from South Africa and China.
The sectors that were represented included construction materials, home decoration, agriculture equipment; home appliances, general mechandise, light industrial products and small and medium scale entrepreneurs dealing in handicrafts and curious.
More than 300 participants from Zambia, China, United Kingdom, Botswana, South Africa, India and Zimbabwe attended the Fair. Among the guests was HRH senior chieftains Nkomesha Mukamambo.
Vice president, Dr Guy Scott during the opening ceremony saw the fair as an opportunity that will contribute to job creation.
‘We shall neither stop here nor relent in our effort to attract foreign direct investments in this country,’ minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon Emmanuel Chenda, said.
The Ministry of Commerce expects to increasing bilateral trade between Zambia and China from the current US$3.38 billion in 2012 by 50% in the next few years and further attract more Chinese foreign direct investment into Zambia especially in value addition sectors.
‘I can safely say that without the creation of Special Economic Zones, China’s economic growth would not have been as fast as we have witnessed.
‘The aim is to attract foreign direct investments effectively and substantial, absorb the vast foreign technology and managerial skills gradually, and pick the process of industrialization seriously,’ Chinese Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao said.
The Chinese government formulates and carries out very special policies towards Zones allowing tax free imported goods and materials, tax breaks, providing free or cheap land, implementing simple and quick business procedures as well as other special conveniences and privileges for investors.
The fair, which was hosted at the Lusaka East Multi Facility Economic Zone, is part of government efforts to continue to pursue and implement policies that are focused on reducing poverty among Zambians.
A number of companies have since expressed interest to set up their presence in the Zone, among them Beijing Sunway and Jihai Agriculture who have since set up their operations there.
China’s investment in Zambia has been on the steady increase. About 500 Chinese companies have settled here, with about US$2.6 billion of FDI being channeled into Zambia’s economy, creating more than 50 thousand job opportunities.
The fair generated scheduled orders estimated at K16,000,000 (US$3,000,000) with the biggest business order being in the heavy equipment sector.
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