Vice President Mutale Nalumango has assured Indian investors that their investments in Zambia are safe, due to the conducive investment climate and political stability that the country enjoys.
Ms. Nalumango says she is aware that the Indian business community has already staked 5 billion United States dollars for investment in Zambia and that such investments will be protected by law.
“Zambia believes in the rule of law and that the Zambia Development Agency mandated to promote investments has power to grant Investment protection agreements.” Ms. Nalumango stated.
The Vice President explained that Zambia is open for business and has great need for more partnerships in various sectors of the economy.
Ms. Nalumango described trade relations with India as strong and in excess of 1 billion United States dollars.
She said India’s economic footprint in the Zambian economy is seen from the over 3 billion United States dollar investment by Indian firms in the country.
“Over US$3 billion of investment by Indian Enterprises have been registered in Zambia in the recent past, with more than US$5 billion already in the pipeline ” said Ms. Nalumango.
The Vice President said this when she addressed the 17th Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) EXIM Bank India Africa Growth Partnership Conclave in New Delhi.
The conference gas attracted over 600 government and business representatives and 500 local firms.
Four African High level leaders are attending the meeting along with 35 government ministers, under the theme, Creating Shared futures.
Vice President of Gambia Badara Joof, Vice President of Mauritius Marie Boissezon, Vice President of South Sudan Riek Machar, and Namibian Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah are among the high profile African leaders attending the Conclave.
Ms. Nalumango assured that high level engagement that Zambia is well positioned to be the trade and investment hub for Southern Africa , and Indian businesses, due to her strategic location and ease of doing business looking at the country’s comparative advantage over neighbours.
The Vice President said Zambia is in a deed of partnerships to boost the agriculture sector through enhanced value chain to food processing.
Ms. Nalumango told local and international delegates that Zambia’s vast untapped potential in several economic sectors, needs urgent exploration and harnessing in order to grow the economy.
She said Zambia needs investors to set up industries and factories to enhance value addition to what she produces so that the industrialization agenda can create jobs for Zambians and improve their welfare.
“Zambia needs partnerships in strengthening agriculture and food processing value chains” said Ms. Nalumango.
The Vice President said developing the mining and minerals sectors as well as pharmaceutical , tourism, health , education and energy sectors among others remains cardinal to the new dawn administration’s socio-economic transformation agenda.
Ms. Nalumango urged Zambia, African countries and India to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area to enhance scale-up trade and investment among each other.
She challenged African countries and India to take advantage of the uncertainty created by conflict in Eastern Europe, in order to ensure global food security by growing more food.
“The current global food and fuel shortages resulting in sky rocketing prices, are signs of the urgency for us, collectively, to work together to address the dire situation in some parts of Africa” said Ms. Nalumango.
The Vice President appealed to fellow African and Indian leaders and captains of industries at the Conclave, to explore ways of uplifting youths and women out of poverty, by transforming the economic fortunes of Africa and India.
And opening the conference, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal assured Africa of his country’s commitment to supporting the continent’s socio-economic transformation agenda.
Mr. Goyal said India’s 17 year development cooperation with Africa under the CII Exim Bank India Africa Growth Partnership has given Africa a platform to build socio economic bridges for the benefit of her people.
The Minister noted that India will continue to work towards deepening and strengthening business ties with African countries based on the unique needs of individual countries.
Mr. Goyal said India is one of Afric’stop 5 trade and investment partner as reflected in the increase of India’s investment portfolio in Africa to over 75 billion United States dollars in the lady few years
The Minister said India is drafting a new 25 year development cooperation and partnership plan that will provide the framework for India’s future economic and development partnerships support to Africa.
Mr. Goyal said India wants to review the current development cooperation and partnership when it clocks and reviews its 75 years of existence.
Namibian Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah called on Africa to desist from exporting raw materials.
She said Africa must strive to add value to her raw materials and get value for her exports in order to have more resources at her disposal to develop the continent and eradicate hunger.
Gambia’s Vice President Badara Joof appealed to African countries to support each other in various development initiatives and partnership in order to change the socio-economic landscape of the continent.
India Exim Bank Managing Director Harsha Bangari said her bank remains committed to supporting Africa’s development trajectory.
She said Africa has continued to remain a good business partner of India and the Bank is keen on taking the development partnerships to new heights.
India Exim Bank has over the last decade financed major infrastructure development projects in Africa and Zambia particularly the multi-million dollar Lusaka decongestion project.
Director General of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Chandrajit Banerjee called for the establishment of manufacturing partnerships with African countries.
Mr. Banerjee said it is imperative that new partnerships are forged to support Africa’s manufacturing base that will continuously supply India with the needed raw materials and processed commodities.
The conference which runs from July 19 to 20, is expected to provide a platform for India and African countries to dialogue over trade partnerships and strengthen bilateral ties and economic opportunities.
Vice President Mutale Nalumango is expected to hold bilateral talks with her Indian Counterpart Venkaiah Naidu and the four African Vice Presidents attending the Conclave.
Ms. Nalumango is later expected to visit developmental projects and appreciate India’s medical tourism success story.