PRESIDENT Sata has called for increased investment from Asia in export-oriented economic zones for value addition to Zambia’s natural resources.
In his continued efforts to market Zambia as an investment destination of choice, Mr Sata yesterday catalogued the various advantages that make Zambia more suitable for investment.
In an opening address to the 12th Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in Boao, a southern coastal town in China’s Hainan Province, the President cited Zambia’s geographical location and abundant natural resources as some of the factors which make the country very attractive for investment.
“Zambia shares borders with eight countries and has free trade arrangements with 15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, which is a market worth over US$40 billion.
“It is also a member of COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) with 19 members and therefore offers you a market for your goods and services, extending well beyond its 752,000 square kilometres of land,” Mr Sata said.
“It has the best climate, abundant mineral resources and water accounting for 40 percent of the total southern African water resources,” he said.
He said Zambia has conducive investment climate characterised by a stable political environment and abundant natural resources such as minerals and water.
“We have conducive investment policies and a stable political environment. We also have a history of peaceful political transitions of power.
“The country has the best climate with water accounting for about 40 percent of southern Africa’s water resources, abundant mineral wealth and welcoming and hardworking people,” the President said.
President Sata also extolled Zambia’s stable political environment and democratic governance as some of the factors that make it favourable for foreign investment.
“We have had five peaceful transitions of power, which is a strong testimony of the depth of our democracy,” he said.
The President said in pursuit of economic development, the government is implementing programmes and projects to accelerate growth through building of infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, border facilities and power stations.
“Our investment climate is among the best in sub-Saharan Africa, if not the whole world, offering a stable macro-economic environment conducive to private sector development and industrial growth,” he said.
He said to foster private sector development, the government was pursuing appropriate policies and regulations to encourage a well-functioning business sector.
“We uphold transparency and security for investment through sound dispute resolution and zero tolerance against corruption.
“Our fight against corruption and illicit financial flows is a priority because the vices retard development and divert resources from development programmes,” he said.
“I therefore urge you to make Zambia the entry point into the wider African market,” he said.
The President said Zambia is committed to fostering an enabling environment and strengthening international cooperation in diplomacy, science and technology for sustainable development.
“In this regard, I wish to call for more-investment from Asia in export- oriented multi-facility economic zones which will enhance value addition to our natural resources in targeted areas,” he said.
President Sata said the theme of this year’s forum could not have come at a better time than now as it captures the past, present and future development aspirations of Asian nations.
The theme of this year’s forum is: Asia Seeking Development for All: Restructuring, Responsibility and Cooperation.”
Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for global cooperation to enhance peace and development, adding that countries should not underrate each other but work together.
President Xi said no country should be allowed to ‘plunge entire regions into chaos for selfish reasons’.
He said achieving development for all is an uphill battle and that China cannot develop in isolation.
“A wise man changes with time. We must ditch the outdated method of development,” President Xi said.
He said China will maintain robust economic growth in the next five years and that imports will reach US$5 trillion while exports will reach US$500 billion in the next three years.
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