President Banda Urges South Africa to be Part of Zambia’s Boom

December 3, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, December 3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — 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 prosperity.

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.

SOURCE Statehouse, Lusaka, Zambia

Source: newswire

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