6 October 2012

Southern Africa: Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique Growth Triangle Hailed

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has said the revived Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Growth Triangle will enhance economic growth in the three countries.

Mr Sata said this in a speech read for him by Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Robert Sichinga during the Africa-America Institute's 2012 Africa Business Investment Forum, under the theme 'Jobs for Africa's future", in New York.

This is according to a statement released yesterday by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Permanent Mission of Zambia to the United Nations Chibaula Silwamba.

President Sata informed the investors that Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique were all member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), two key trade regional economic bodies.

"Therefore, investors in these three countries enjoy preferential market access to a bigger regional market of over 600 million people, ranging from the tip of South Africa in the south to the northern tip of Egypt. This is an exciting time to invest in Zambia, Malawi or Mozambique growth triangle." President Sata said.

He said currently, the three countries had investment opportunities in infrastructure development, tourism development, transport and communication, agriculture development, agro-processing, mining, information technology, manufacturing and trade facilitation, among others.

The 2012 Africa Business Investment Forum was organised by the Africa-America Institute, a New York-based international education and policy organisation dedicated to advancing education and professional training for Africans, and promoting engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue. AAI was founded in 1953.

And Mr Sichinga said Zambia will establish more than 22 intra-Africa trade centres to boost business on the continent.

Mr Sichinga who was accompanied by Senior Economist, Aaron Mutale from his ministry bemoaned the low levels of trade among African countries.

The minister called for increased intra-Africa trade.

"Of all the trade that Africa generates, we only trade with one another to the extent of 11.2 per cent while similar blocs such as the European Union trade with one another beyond 60 per cent," said Mr Sichinga.

To change the status quo, Mr Sichinga said Zambia would establish at least one Intra-Africa Trade centre with each of its eight neighbours.

"We have identified 22 locations at which we will be setting up intra-Africa trade centres," Mr Sichinga said.

He said Zambia's peaceful nature, welcoming people and abundant resources made it the prime investment destination and urged foreign investors to explore business opportunities in the country.

"Zambia has the potential to produce more than 10,000 megawatts of power, but we produce about 2, 000 megawatts right now. There is an opportunity in Zambia to produce the power for local consumption and export," Mr Sichinga said.

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