Minister of Finance Felix Mutati has arrived in Brazil for bilateral talks on strengthening south-south development cooperation. The Minister was met on arrival in Brasilia, the Capital of the Giant South American Country, by Zambia’s Defence Attache, COLONEL GODWIN CHENDA.
During a courtesy call on the Zambian Mission, COL CHENDA, who was standing-in for the Ambassador Designate to Brazil ELFREDA KANSEMBE, called on Zambia’s private sector to venture in the western hemisphere; including Latin America, for trade and investment opportunities in areas such as crop agriculture, livestock development, manufacturing, tourism, public transport investment, sustainable energy development, infrastructure development, scientific research, technological transfer.
Through its expansive agriculture system, Brazil has a lot of investment opportunities for Zambia which “we need to tap into in order to leverage the penetration of our goods and services in the SADC and COMESA regions and grow our economy sustainably,” COLONEL CHENDA told The Minister.
AND speaking at the same event, Mr. MUTATI acknowledged that as the eighth largest economy in the world and the fifth largest by both population and size, Brazil is an important partner considering that her stock of Foreign Direct Investment abroad surpassed US$ 300 billion in 2016.
“As a country, Zambia has not taken advantage of the opportunities that Brazil provides through technological transfer, bio-fuels, crop disease control, irrigation development,” said Mr. Mutati.
“Standing currently at 4,000 [Four Thousand], Zambia recognises that Brazil has one of the largest headcounts of innovators in the world and has developed technology particularly in dealing with drought through efficient irrigation systems, and fighting crop diseases such as army worms and stock borers,” stated Mr. Mutati.
The Minister added that, “within the context of south-south cooperating we should tap into the best competencies of Brazil to support the diversification and industrialisation agenda for Zambia.”
“We are also here to establish practical cooperation and harness opportunities for growth of Zambia’s financial sector by diversifying our investment portfolio using Brazil as an anchor for supporting the growth of our private sector especially in agriculture, bio-fuel production, and innovation activities,” said Mr. Mutati.
“We are also here to strengthen Government to Government Cooperation in order to gain traction and unlock the potential for mutual benefit and growth,” he said, and added that Zambia needed to remove her shyness in dealing some of the world’s strongest economies by focusing on transactions with countries like Brazil to achieve the best outcomes for the 2018 twin objective of fiscal consolidation and economic growth.
During the visit to Brazil, Mr. Mutati is scheduled to meet the Secretary for International Affairs Professor Marcello Estevao who is also the Vice Minister for Finance and hold discussions with the Brazilian Development Bank, BNDES.
Brazil’s current interests in Zambia are mostly skewed towards the mining sector through the involvement of VALLE and U&M in Lubambe and Konkola Copper Mines.