Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mutati happy with Phoenix Supplies,SA firm venture

Mutati happy with Phoenix Supplies,SA firm venture
By Kabanda Chulu
Saturday August 23, 2008 [04:00]

COMMERCE minister Felix Mutati has described the joint venture between Phoenix Supplies of Ndola and the HBW Group of South Africa as practical demonstration of regional integration within SADC. The two companies have signed agreements to develop a US$ 160 million multi-facility shopping mall in the Chambishi Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ).

Mutati said during the recently held Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting, Zambia show-cased various economic and development models which investors within the region looked at.

He also said the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) together with other regional farmers' organisations shared experiences on contract buying, warehouse receipting and how the current food crisis could be turned into opportunities.

"We took various models from many local entities such as NAPSA, National Building Society, ZNFU, among others, and fortunately enough, the model from Phoenix Supplies attracted the interest from property developers, the HBW Group of South Africa, which indicated intentions to enter into a joint venture to set up a shopping mall worth U$160 million in the Chambishi MFEZ, which is a practical demonstration of regional integration within the SADC," Mutati said.

"HBW Group is currently finalising financial agreements and soon they will embark on feasibility studies and submit the environmental impact assessment with construction expected to start early next year."

The Chambishi MFEZ would become the second business venture in Zambia after the Manda Hill Shopping Centre where the HBW Group would undertake operations.

Last year, HBW Group Limited took over the management of Manda Hill Centre from the Commonwealth Africa Investments (CAI) and Zambia Venture Capital Fund (ZVCF) and committed US$ 20 million to uplift the shopping mall.

The HBW Group also ruled out possibilities of razing the current building to develop a three-storey structure because the foundation was not strong enough. Instead they intend to transform the centre into a more multi-purpose mall by having various facilities.



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