EASTERN Province Minister Malozo Sichone has commended Parmalat Zambia for opening a distribution centre in Chipata district.
The minister said the distribution centre was fulfilling Government's objective of bringing development closer to the people.
He said that the opening of the centre was a clear indication that there was more demand for Parmalat products in the region.
The minister was speaking at the official opening of the Parmalat distribution centre at Protea Hotel in Chipata yesterday.
In a speech read for him by Assistant Secretary Agness Chinyama, Mr Sichone said:
'In addition, an investment of this nature has a chain reaction to the economic growth of this province. The opening of this distribution centre is a clear indication that there is more demand for Parmalat products in Eastern Province..."
He said the positive developments taking place in the province have been made possible by a combination of factors such as good Government policiesand strong support from development partners like Parmalat.
Mr Sichone said the Government would keep up the growth momentum to create a more robust competitive edge for the province.
He urged the private sector in Zambia to take up its full role in complementing Government effort in service provision and job creation by embarking on innovative programmes.
"I would like to take this opportunity to urge investors and companies that have not established presence in Eastern Province to quickly consider doing so because the province has immense opportunities for investment,Mr Sichone said.
He said the Government would continue to partner with the private sector by creating enabling environment conducive for investment as the state endeavour to create more sustainable jobs for the people.
Mr Sichone said people were demanding for locally produced products like milk which would result in less dependence on imported dairy goods.
Speaking earlier Parmalat managing director Piet Theron said the Chipata distribution centre would also supply milk to Malawi and Mozambique as part of its expansion.
Mr Theron said in a speech read for him by Sales and Marketing manager Sandress Nyirenda that the local people would benefit through job creation and supply of milk to the company. The distribution centre is situated at Total Filling Station along the Umodzi Highway.