President Banda Urges South Africa to be Part of Zambia's BoomBy Statehouse Lusaka Zambia, PRNE
Thursday, December 2, 2010
JOHANNESBURG, December 3, 2010 - His Excellency, President Rupiah Banda of Zambia, today hailed
the virtues of Zambia's booming business sector at the Zambia South Africa
Business Forum in Johannesburg.
Speaking to a group of business and political leaders,
including South African President Jacob Zuma, he warmly welcomed investment
in the country as a means of improving national and regional development and
President Banda said, "We recognise that Zambia must take full
advantage of the benefits of trade and investment. Only then can we raise
living standards of our citizens, create even more jobs and reduce poverty."
The speech came as part of President Banda's three day State
Visit to South Africa, where he has signed bilateral agreements promoting
trade and economic cooperation. He offered a host of investment
opportunities, including in mining, production of high tech products, energy,
oil exploration, tourism, and agriculture.
President Banda also highlighted the potential of Zambia's
excellent geographical location and proximity to growing markets to make it a
stable gateway to the region for South Africa and other investors.
He said, "Zambia is a country where business can be done,
across all sectors. Wealth, jobs and yet more opportunities are being
created. Now is the time to take advantage. A politician would normally say
something like "Zambia is open for business", but I have something different
to say: 'Zambia is already doing business, why not join us?' There is nothing
like good trade to cement international relations."
The President outlined how infrastructure and technology
improvements across Zambia will improve efficiencies and reduce the cost of
doing business for all companies and entrepreneurs - for example, the
commissioning of the Zimba-Livingstone Road and the imminent roll-out of
high-speed broadband to rural Zambia.
Zambia's achievements in improving the ease of doing business
was recognised by the World Bank, which last month it named it as one of the
top ten worldwide reformers in the 2011 World Bank Doing Business Report.
Zambia has already exceeded its foreign direct investment
targets for 2010, having attracted $4.3 billion in pledges from a target of
$3 billion. This marks a significant increase from 2009's $959 million in
pledges, including $1.4 billion for the mining sector alone, showing the
increased global confidence in the Zambian mining sector. This has translated
into at least 36, 000 new jobs.
In 2009 the Zambian economy grew by 6.4% against the projected
growth rate of 4.3%. The 2010 GDP growth rate is expected to be 6.6% and
inflation has been reduced, offering a stable and desirable investment
climate in 2011 and beyond.
Issued by: Dickson Jere, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS, press at presidentbanda.com
Tags: December 3, Johannesburg, South Africa, Statehouse Lusaka Zambia, Zambia