Thursday, June 28, 2007

(DAILY MAIL) Exploit our resources – Levy

Exploit our resources – Levy

PRESIDENT Mwanawasa has invited investors to exploit Zambia’s vast business opportunities in different sectors of the economy that remain largely undeveloped. Mr Mwanawasa was speaking at State House in Lusaka yesterday when he received credentials from Tanzania’s new High Commissioner to Zambia, Dismas Nguma.

“Identify and draw the attention of those private individuals or legal entities interested or specialised in specific fields to come and transform the raw materials into goods and services that are affordable to the majority of our people,” he said.

He said this would help the two sister countries combine their efforts to generate additional wealth and successfully wage the fight against poverty and disease. Mr Mwanawasa said the bilateral relations existing between Zambia and Tanzania transcended the common boundary and was evident on the international scene where they shared common views and adopted common positions.

“As member states of SADC (Southern African Development Community) and the African Union, we are bound by our common heritage, culture and destiny,” he said.

Zambia recognised Tanzania’s special place and instrumental role in the resolution of conflicts in Africa. President Mwanawasa commended Tanzania’s consistency in the promotion of peace and security in East Africa, the Great Lakes region and the wider African continent.

And Mr Nguma said his country admired Zambia’s determination to improve the socio-economic welfare of the people. He said Zambia’s commitment to promote democracy, good governance, human rights, civic education as well as waging an unrelenting war against graft were some of the achievements the country had recorded. Mr Nguma said Tanzania was one of Zambia’s top five trade partners, although the value of exports accounted for just 5.1 per cent of total exports. He said Tanzania’s exports were about a quarter of Zambia’s exports to Tanzania in 2006 at US$49.3 million against US$216.8 million.

And President Mwanawasa said Government welcomed foreign investors who were willing to enter into partnerships with Zambian businesses. Government had put in place attractive incentives for investments in the agricultural, construction, energy, finance, mining and tourism sectors. Mr Mwanawasa was speaking when he received letters of credence from the ambassador of Qatar to Zambia, Ali Bin Hassan Al Hammadi. He said Zambia wished to establish closer cooperation in the construction, energy, finance and tourism sectors for the mutual benefit of the Zambian and Qatari people.

And President Mwanawasa said the construction of the Katima Mulilo Bridge was not an end in itself but the beginning of an era of greater exchange of goods and services between Zambia and Namibia. He said this when he received letters of credence from the new Namibian High Commissioner to Zambia, Salomon Witbool. He said the bridge had opened up a trade route to and from the Walvis Bay Port, where Zambia intended to set up a dry port.

Mr Mwanawasa said this infrastructure catered for not only Zambians but also Congolese nationals and other nationalities. He said the development of joint infrastructure fell in perfect line with a common development agenda, which promoted the creation of wealth to fight poverty, disease and other social ills.

And Mr Witbool said he would ensure that the meetings of the two countries’ Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation and the Joint Commission on Security and Defence, continued to be held regularly and that decisions taken were implemented.

He said his priority would be to encourage the private sector of Zambia to extend their business ventures to Namibia by utilising the infrastructure both governments had put in place.

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