The head of State is an outstanding asset in promoting investments and President Edgar Lungu has been instrumental in attracting significant investments into the country, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has said.
ZDA director general Patrick Chisanga has disclosed that some of the new investment projects that were being actualised in the country were as a result of President Lungu’s tireless efforts and interventions.
He said the response from investors when the President visited another country was at the highest level and the contacts that were made were serious ones.
“You may have heard that Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) is scheduled to start constructing a cement plant in Ndola with a Chinese firm. This is one of the projects which arose out of the President’s visit to the People’s Republic of China,” Mr Chisanga said.
He said the project had already started in Ndola in less than 12 months of signing the agreement in China between ZCCM-IH and the Chinese firm.
Meanwhile, Mr Chisanga said the mission to France was very successful as the agency met several investors from all sectors including the Movement of Enterprises of France (MEDEF) and showcased the vast investment opportunities in the Zambia.
He said the agency exhibited some of the available investment opportunities such as farm blocks in the agricultural sector that are at different levels of development in all ten provinces of the country.
“As a country, we want to move beyond producing raw agricultural products and add value to these products. Value addition means more employment opportunities created and the products produced will be of much higher value,” Mr Chisanga said.
He advised that Zambia must move away from exporting raw minerals to value added products that would earn the country more foreign exchange.
Mr Chisanga said the greatest interest of the investors in France was in the energy sector for the simple reason that Zambia was experiencing power shortages and a number of investors wanted to invest in green and renewable energy.
“We had a meeting with the Minister of Energy and one of the investors we met in France is called Sky Power. The company has expressed high interest in the energy sector and is talking about putting up an 800 Mega Watts solar power plant spread over a period of four to five years,” he said.
Mr Chisanga revealed that the same company had intentions to put up a solar panel manufacturing plant in the country.
“You can see that within weeks of that meeting in France we already have a major investor like Sky Power flying into the country to discuss their investment intentions,” he said.
While in France, ZDA also met with another company which was interested in Bio Energy with a proposal to transforme waste into energy.
ZDA further signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Business France, an organisation that promotes investments from France around the world.
The MoU was signed to implement joint investment programmes between ZDA and Business France.
The agreement stipulates that Business France would support and promote exports from Zambia into France while the ZDA would support and promote investments from France.