Lusaka - Zambia was open for business, but Zambian companies should not only expect South African companies to come and invest, but also needed to stand up and go to South Africa for business.
This was according to the Zambian Minister of Finance, Felix Mutati, at the two-day Trade and Investment Mission taking place in Lusaka this week. The mission has been organised by South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (the dti)
Mutati urged delegates and officials to build on the commitments made by the Heads of State of both countries during the state visit to South Africa by President Edgar Lungu of Zambia in December last year. The two countries agreed to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations.
"We need to move towards the struggle of creating a legacy that will translate into economic benefits for our people. This meeting should address how businesses can work with each other. Zambians must not wait for South African firms to only come and invest, you must also invest in South Africa. Helping each other will help alleviate unemployment. What matters most is when everybody is benefiting," said Mutati.
Mutati, who described Zambia and South Africa as powerhouses in their own right, said Zambia presented a conducive business environment and mentioned a stabilised economy, a predictable tax regime, stabilised power generation, abundance of water, and an economic and business model that could make money for businesses as some of the benefits of investing in Zambia.
According to the Zambian Minister of Commerce, Margaret Mwanakawe, the country was aiming for a double digit Gross Domestic Product in 2018. This presented abundant opportunities for businesses. She further invited businesses to help Zambia to be fully integrated in the value-chain. She said Zambia was serious about economic diversification and invited investments in the solar hydro thermal and bio-energy sectors.
“Come and work with us, have a long term view of Zambia, do not trade with us as trading partners but as value-addition partners. Our government will protect you and your business as you do business in the country," urged Mwanakawe.
The mission will conclude with business-to-business meetings, round-table discussions and sector-specific site visits.
AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY