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From Rosaria Lubumbashi in New Dehli, India

New Dehli, March 18, 2013, ZANIS……….. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Emmanuel Chenda has assured Indian investors intending to invest in Zambia that the country remains a viable market for investment opportunities.

ZANIS reports from New Delhi that the Minister was speaking during a special Zambia session in India today when he made a presentation about Zambia’s economic and investment climate.

The session comes   as a result of the on-going 9th CII-EXIM BANK Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership, which officially opened on March 17, 2013 in New Delhi, India.

Mr Chenda explained further that factors such as political stability and democratic dispensation, which have contributed to the country’s positive economic record, remain viable economic forces, thereby improving and increasing the country’s national development.

The minister also added that Zambia remains the best investment destination conducive for the private sector development and industrial growth.

The minister told the delegates, who were packed in the session room, that Zambia remains focused on sustainable development.

And on trade, Mr Chenda said Zambia’s trading relations with India continue to yield positive results as the partnership between the two countries is strengthened.

He said India’s investment to Zambia, which has accumulated to US $3 billion, has resulted in the creation of about 13, 000 jobs.

Mr Chenda cited Vendatta, one of the world’s largest copper mine, Konkola Copper Mines with an expansion project of US$1 billion, and Bank of India and Bank of Baroda, as the major implementers of job creation in Zambia.

The minister added that Zambia was looking for investments which will create employment for the people and add value to the country’s economic growth.

And Zambia Development Agency Director, Glyne Michelo said 50 per cent of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is what the country accounts for.

Mr Michelo said that Zambia is the seventh  and the second  largest producer of copper and cobalt in the world respectively.

Mr Michelo also quoted some of Zambia’s major investors  such as First Quantum, India and China with the investment record of US $ 3 billion, US $ 2 billion and China US $ 2billion.

He restated that Zambia is among the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

Meanwhile, during the answer –question session, Agriculture Minister Bob Sichinga assured the delegates that despite the challenges facing the post harvest in the sector, there is a tremendous opportunity in reviving the sector especially that of the maize crop.

The minister further assured the delegates that all trade agreements that were left outstanding in the previous administration have been attended to and therefore the system should be able to flow smoothly.

Transport, Works, Supply and Communication minister Christopher Yaluma reminded the investors that although Zambia was open for investments in the mining sector, it is a requirement that investors adhered to the conditions as prescribed.

Mr Yaluma added that in the energy sector, Zambia was in the process of looking for solar energy in order to put in place biomass energy.

“We are hard hit. Supply versus demand as regard power load shedding is not very pleasant in Zambia. We need energy resources that will increase the supply of the commodity,” Mr Yaluma illustrated.

And Gender minister Inonge Wina added that Zambia has many mining opportunities for women.

However, the minister noted that challenges of inadequate capital to develop the mines continue to be an economic flaw among women miners in the country.

Mrs Wina informed the delegates that women in mining in Zambia are looking forward to partnering with Indian companies.

Vice President Guy Scott was among the delegates that attended a special Zambia session.

The Zambian case on economic and investment climate attracted a huge crowd in the session room.

A number of various investors who crowded the session room have shown interest in investing in the country.

One among them that came up was the defunct Kawambwa Tea Company in Luapula province.