PRESIDENT Michael Sata has said Government will ensure that Zambia is fully integrated into the global economy to enhance job and wealth creation across all disciplines.
Mr Sata said Government had also accelerated diversification of the economy and moved away from supplying unprocessed natural resources.
He said this in Livingstone yesterday during the opening of the Zambia International Investment Forum.
The forum, whose theme is ‘Value Addition for Wealth and Job Creation: Win–Win for All’, is designed to showcase Zambia’s investment opportunities as well as to promote greater dialogue between the public and private sectors.
Local and foreign investors are attending the two-day forum which is also aimed at offering networking opportunities between the private sector and international investors.
The President said the Government was implementing the national strategy for industrialisation targeting four growth sectors of the economy namely, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and construction.
The Government would also continue to invest in infrastructure such as roads, railway, airports, border facilities, power stations as well as information and communication technology to support trade and investment.
Mr Sata assured the delegates to the forum that the Zambian economy was open for business, trade and investment.
“My Government is focused on improving the business environment by removing constraints which impact negatively on business growth such as high compliance costs, low skills levels, access to markets, lack of finance, appropriate technology and quality business infrastructure in rural areas,” he said in a speech read for him by Vice-President Guy Scott.
He was happy that the investment forum was being held after the recent successful issuance of the US$750 million Eurobond.
“This reflects the confidence that the international investor community has in our country and confirms the status of our country as a preferred destination,” he said.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Bob Sichinga said he looked forward to ensuring that Zambia grew to levels of best performing economies around the world.
The forum was sponsored by First Quantum Minerals, Konkola Copper Mines, Zambia China Economic and Trade Corporation Zone, Zambeef, and Airtel Zambia.
Other sponsors are Sun International Zambia, Standard Chartered Bank Zambia, Trade Kings, Pepsi, VALE, Amatheon Agri, Zanaco and Zamanco Mineral Limited.
Africa Development Bank (AfDB) president Donald Kaberuka said the challenge for Africa’s policy makers was to ensure that growth led to economic transformation.
In a speech read for him by AfDB Zambia resident representative Freddie Kwesiga, Dr Kaberuka said a survey of international experiences showed that there were no cultural or geographical obstacles to economic transformation.
Cabinet ministers attending the forum included Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo and Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Yamfwa Mukanga.
SOURCE: Times of Zambia