Zambia is this May scheduled to host the first Zambia European (EU) Union business forum which will provide a platform for Zambia and EU Member states and the business communities to explore opportunities for investment and trade.
The forum slated for May 18 and 19, 2022 in Lusaka is also targeted at bringing together entrepreneurs, corporate institutions, financial institutions and innovators from both the EU and Zambia to discuss and explore other potential areas of investment with a focus on value addition.
Speaking during the launch of the forum in Lusaka yesterday, Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) Chipoka Mulenga said government is committed to create market-oriented economic policies that encourage sustainable economic growth through private sector development.
Mr. Mulenga explained that this is why government has put in place economic policies to guide decision making focused on foreign and domestic investments in the country as key drivers of continued development and diversification.
“The New dawn administration is strongly committed to market-oriented economic policies that encourage sustainable economic growth through private sector development, similarly, the national industry policy and trade policy which has successfully guided our economic policy decisions over the last years pays particular attention on foreign and domestics investments into Zambia key drivers of continued development and diversification, “he said.
He noted that the EU is a strategic investment and trade partner to Zambia and has significantly contributed to Zambia’s sustainable growth in all sectors, fostering reforms and facilitating investment opportunities with a focus on private sector investments.
He said this is why the launch signifies an important milestone in Zambia’s economic relations with the EU as the country has established and maintained good political and economic relations with the European Union.
Mr. Mulenga also added that the EU has made significant contributions to Zambia’s sustainable growth in all sectors of the economy.
He pointed out that the new administration has embarked on an ambitious economic and social transformation agenda aimed at turning around the economy within reasonable time with a focus on the 3Rs namely, Recover, Repair and Revive the economy.
In this regard, the Minister noted that government has recognised the need to intensify trade and investment promotion activities to attract investment across all sectors of the Zambian economy, such as Agriculture, Energy, Mining and Mineral beneficiation, and Green economy, Manufacturing, Tourism and Information Communication Technology.
Mr. Mulenga further added that Zambia has remained in a strong position to compete favourably despite the negative effects of Covid -19 on the global economy and investment.
“With the global economy grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, competition for global investment has become more intense than ever. But we are convinced that Zambia is in a strong position to stay competitive and continue to attract high levels of foreign direct investment,” he added.
And EU Head of Delegation Jacek Jankowski has pledged continued support to Zambia in its quest to create private sector investment and business chances that foster economic development and create employment.
Mr. Jankowski also stressed the need to promote the development of sustainable products and services in the green economy.
He explained that it is for this reason that it is expected that Zambia and European business leaders will come together and explore new opportunities for their companies to flourish, grow and provide the possibility for companies from Zambia and EU to exhibit their products and services.
“Our common goal is to generate private sector investments and business opportunities that foster economic growth and create jobs. In particular, we wish to promote the development of sustainable products and services in the green economy,” he explained.
He added that Zambia as a land linked country of the heart of Africa, is famous for natural abundance opportunities in different sectors.
He commended President Hakainde Hichilema for embarking on a course of ambitious political, economic as well as fiscal and social reforms and putting high premium on private sector green growth and innovation.
“The EU and its Member States are Zambia’s longstanding economic and trade partners and stand ready to support these endeavours. The upcoming first edition of a Zambia-EU forum will be a great opportunity to explore new business partnerships and to learn more about the EU’s financial incentives for investing in the green economy,” he said.
The forum will be held under the theme “Economic Transformation through Green Growth”