25 French companies led by the Movement of Enterprises of France (MEDEF) arrived in Zambia on Monday 1st June 2015 to explore investment opportunities in the country. They are seeking for joint venture partnerships in the infrastructure development, banking and finance, energy, water and sanitation, insurance and transport sectors.
The delegation held an Economic Session on Tuesday, 2nd June 2015 at Intercontinetal Hotel in Lusaka where they engaged the Zambian private sector and the Zambia Development Agency. MEDEF will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zambia Private Sector Association on Wednesday, 3rd June 2015.
The MoU that will lay a framework for cooperation seeks to further promote trade and investment between Zambia and France. MEDEF is the biggest french business council with over 800,000 member companies.This is according to a statement released by Chibwe Chisala,First Secretary – Economic and Trade,Zambian Embassy in Paris.
Meanwhile President Edgar Lungu has said his administration would give investors good incentives in form of reduced tax, non-tax incentives such as investment guarantees, protection agreements and free facilitation for application of permits, licences, land acquisition and utilities.
“If foreign companies operating here in our country closes, we lose as a country, so it’s imperative that we attain a 50 – 50 deal,” President Lungu said.He further assured the visiting French business community that government through the Ministry of Commerce,Trade and Industry would make the business regime favourable.
President Lungu was speaking in Lusaka today when the delegation of French businessmen paid a courtesy call on him at State House.
President Lungu said Zambia should not only be confined to expanding the ‘traditional’ sectors like agriculture and tourism but switch to modern ones in order to grow the economy.President Lungu said Zambia can learn from developed countries like France which has highly explored and developed in newer sectors such as solar energy.
Mr. Lungu said Zambia is cruising to develop her economy to suit that of France and other developed economies because she is endowed with abundant land, water and other natural resources.
The Head of State assured that Zambia is a safe destination and haven for investment and appreciated the private public partnership that exists with government.He said the private sector is the engine of any economy and reiterated his government’s determination to continue wooing investors in the country.
Delegation Leader Gerald Wolf disclosed that the International Movement des Enterprises de France (MEDEF) who are in the country on a fact finding mission would explore opportunities in Zambia with the assurance made by President Lungu.
Mr. Wolf, who is Vice Chairman of the Africa Committee, hinted that Zambia has proved to be a good destination for investment, hence the delegation coming here.French Ambassador to Zambia Emmanuel Cohet pledged to woo more companies from his country to invest in Zambia.Mr. Cohet reiterated his government’s commitment to cementing further the bilateral ties existing between France and Zambia.The French Envoy added that exchange programmes would be heightened with such platforms.
MEDEF International is the most representative organisation of the French private sector at an international level and represents the French Business Confederation (MEDEF) and its 800,000 companies in the world.MEDEF International also gathers more than 6,700 French companies already operating in the world in 77 Business Councils headed by 40 Chief Executive Officers of major international French companies.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Miles Sampa assured President Lungu and the visiting business executives that his ministry would push the task given to fruition in order to benefit the Zambian people.
Mr. Sampa said investing in Zambia would translate into transforming Zambia’s economy and also creating jobs for the locals.
He disclosed that the visiting business executives would have audience with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry-ZACCI and the Zambia Business Forum among others in order to explore the country as it provides the best investment destination in the region.