Chennai: Zambia, a peaceful and democratic African nation, is inviting Indian investment in all sectors of its vibrant economy, especially in agriculture, mining, tourism, ICT, energy, Education, manufacturing, energy and infrastructure development. Indian investment in Zambia has been mainly in areas of mining, energy and banking.
Zambia, which has embarked on an economic reform and private investment promotion process, is inviting investment in the other vastly untapped areas, especially agriculture, horticulture and agro-processing and wild life tourism, with potential for development of wildlife estates.
Leading a 21-member business delegation from Zambia with representatives from the government, industry, trade and SMEs, Mr Steven Mwansa, Permanent Secretary, Zambia Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, said here on Monday that, “Zambia also welcomes an opportunity to enhance its trade, investment and warm bilateral relations with India’’.
In an exclusive interaction and B2B meeting with Zambia investment and trade delegation, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said India is one of the key sources of foreign direct investment in Zambia.
The main investors are Vedanta Resources, Tata Africa Holdings, Kalpataru Power, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Exim Bank of India with a 34% share in the Development Bank of Zambia besides the presence of Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Central Bank as equity partners with other Banks in Zambia.
Zambia has a stable and growing economy and market. It has been ranked among the top ten best reformers in Africa by the World Bank Survey of 2011, and has got a B+ credit rating by Standard & Poor, making it a good investment destination, Mr Mwansa said.
Ms Florence Mumba, Director – Investment Promotion and Privatization, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), made a presentation on Zambian economy which has been having six per cent annual growth in GDP.
With its Private sector Reform Development Programme (PSRDP) and through ZDA, Zambia has created an Investment-friendly environment streamlining business licensing and administrative process related to business establishment.
The expected establishment of a single Free Trade Area(FTA) comprising 26 countries of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and South African Development Community (SADC) by 2012, would create a larger market “that will be attractive to investments and conducive to large-scale production’’.
Dato J Jegathesan, Senior Economic Advisor to the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Zambia, said the Japanese interest in Zambia was to create a development model for Africa on the lines of the Asian success stories like Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan etc. Speaking about some of the attractive features of Zambia he said the country was English literate, there was no visible sign of poverty in its cities, no religious or racial conflict, good climate and democracy and rule of law. He said the Indian presence in Zambia was not to the expected levels.
Mr K Jayaramakrishnan, Convenor, Panel on Tourism and Sports, CII Tamil Nadu and Vice-President, Head Global Alliances, Tata Consultancy Services, said that there was good scope for investment and joint ventures with Zambian institutions, universities and enterprises in education and skill development, tourism- both medical and cultural-, sports with exchange of tournament etc, and IT and IT-enabled services.
Mr J N Amrolia, Chairman, CII Southern Region International Networking Forum and Director, Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Company Pvt Ltd, said Zambia was a good investment destination and the country should be very high on the radar of Indian investment explorations.
Mr N Sukumar, Advisor, Honorary Consul of Zambia in Chennai, proposed vote of thanks.