ZAMBIA’S Top Five placement as a preferred destination of investment continentally will increase interest from international investors seeking green-field and traditional investment opportunities said senior diplomat Anthony Mukwita.
Mr Mukwita, the Charge d’ Affaires at the embassy of Zambia in Sweden said the placement coming from an independent international rating organisation largely breaks the myth of negativity peddled by critics and re-affirms Zambia’s position internationally as the safe place to take money.
“The great thing about this ranking is that the favourable rating is coming from independent organisations and not Zambian organisations with a stake in the Zambian economy,” Mr Mukwita said.
According to the latest Africa Investment Index, Zambia has been placed at number five most favoured country of investment by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, beating even Africa’s second largest economy, South Africa.
This is the based on Zambia’s “significant domestic investment and access money supply” among other things but also includes the political stability Zambia has enjoyed since independence in 1964, free and fair elections plus upholding the rule of the law encouraged by President Edgar Lungu.
Botswana is the most attractive economy for investments flowing into the African continent, according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2016 (http://APO.af/sUtRNQ) by Quantum Global’s (www.QuantumGlobalGroup.com) independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab.
According to the Index, Botswana scores highly based on a range of factors that include improved credit rating, current account ratio, import cover and ease of doing business.
According to the report, the top five African investment destinations attracted an overall FDI of $13.6bn. Morocco was ranked second on the Index based on its increasing solid economic growth, strategic geographic positioning, increased foreign direct investment, import cover ratio, and an overall favourable business environment. Egypt was ranked third due to an increased foreign direct investment and real interest rates, and a growing urban population. The fourth country on the list, South Africa, scored well on the growth factor of GDP, ease of doing business in the country and significant population. Whilst Zambia was the fifth country on the list due to its significant domestic investment and access money supply.
Mr Mukwita gave an example of his country of representation, Sweden where traffic and interest in Zambia has spiked upwards in recent months especially since the re-election of President Lungu and his open pledge to fight graft.
“Just last week a high powered technical delegation of ‘Team Sweden’ that seeks to revitalise Zambia Railways was in Zambia for what appeared like the umpteenth time doing on-spot physical checks on the more than 900 km railway line to see what repairs are needed in order to bring the railway back on track. We had a fruitful feedback in our office this week and a brief of Team Leader Mr Christian Bengtsson of Bombardier.”
Mr Mukwita said in weeks to come, more investors, perhaps in the agriculture and energy sector could travel to Zambia to explore more areas of taking direct investment to Zambia that could boost FDI, create jobs and slash poverty.
“Mr Bengtsson of Bombardier was part of a high level team that met the Minister of Finance hon Felix Mutati to sign agreements that could see up to half a billion US dollars get invested in Zambia’s transport sector by the end of the year. This is how much Sweden is interested in Zambia and a true example of FDI to flow into Zambia.”
Botswana is the most attractive country for FDI, Morocco is second, Egypt was ranked third while the fourth is South Africa that scored well on the growth factor of GDP.
Mr Mukwita said with the increased Economic Diplomacy drive by President Edgar Lungu and Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba, Zambia is likely to rise several notches up by the end of the year.
“The huge number of Presidents visiting Zambia and equally the huge number of invitations President Lungu is getting form leaders in Africa and beyond are also helping boost Zambia’s image abroad by money people,” the diplomat said.