Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Scott wants MFEZs to create jobs
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says the Multi-Facility Economic Zones set up in the country will have failed their objectives if they end up at being mechanisms for facilitating imports from China.

Speaking yesterday when he officially opened the 2013 Zambia International Construction Materials and Light Industries Products Trade Fair at the Lusaka East MFEZ, Vice-President Scott said Zambians needed jobs.

"In Zambia we need jobs for people. There is a danger or there has always been a fear that the relationship between Africa and China would be one where Africa supplies raw materials and China supplies manufactured goods to Africa. If the MFEZ ends up at just a mechanism for facilitating imports from China, then it would have failed in its objectives as far as the PF government is concerned. We want manufacturing jobs in Zambia as well. Please take that statement as very underlining," Vice-President Scott said.

He said the government would have failed if it merely facilitated the lopsided trade that involved the supply of raw materials in one direction and the supply of finished goods in the other direction.
And Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya said her expectations were that more jobs would be created for Zambians especially youths by the end of the trade fair.

Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao said the bilateral trade volume with Zambia reached US$3.38 billion in 2012.

Ambassador Zhou said with the implementation of China's offer to increase Zambia's duty free export to China to 95 per cent of its total export items, it was expected that the two-way trade would reach a higher level.

"China's investments in Zambia have been on the steady increase. About 500 Chinese companies, big or small, have been set up in Zambia. About US$ 2.6 billion of Foreign Direct Investment have been channeled into Zambia's economy, creating more than 50,000 job opportunities," Ambassador Zhou said.

Ambassador Zhou said in the next five years, China was expected to import US$10 trillion of goods, invest US$500 billion overseas and send over 400 million tourists abroad.

He said with its economic structure transformed and upgraded, China would contribute more to the prosperity and development of the world economy.

"China is ready to share this huge business opportunity with the rest of the world. I hope Zambia will be able to get its fare share from the above mentioned business opportunity," he said.

Meanwhile, commerce, trade and industry minister Emmanuel Chenda said the ministry recorded in excess of US$3.6 billion worth of investments and created 35,514 employment opportunities across all sectors.
He said this represented an increase of 89 per cent compared to the same period last year.

"It is interesting to note that out of this, the construction and real estate sectors have contributed close to US 1 billion compared to US$700 million in 2012. The 42 per cent increase goes to indicate the significance the PF government attaches in attracting investments in the construction and real estate sector," Chenda said.


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