KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
HERIOT Properties project manager Martin Ras says rising consumer demand among the emerging Zambian middle class, is the primary factor driving the companyâ€™s desire to construct shopping malls being financed by Stanbic Bank.
In an interview yesterday after touring the Cosmopolitan Mall in Chawama township that is scheduled to open on March 24 this year, Mr Ras said the investment climate in Zambia is conducive for businesses to thrive.
â€œIt is easy do business here in Zambia and we are confident about the prospects in this country, of course, there are economic challenges but definitely things will improve. There is a rising consumer demand from people who want to be associated with top quality brands,â€ he said.
Mr Ras said Heriot properties considers Zambia as a prime destination for foreign direct investment.
â€œThe development of four malls is a demonstration of our commitment to this country. In 2014, we opened Kafubu Mall in Ndola, Mukuba Mall in Kitwe and in 2016; we will open Cosmopolitan in Lusaka and Solwezi Mall in Solwezi. We are also planning to start construction of Kabwe Mall this year with opening scheduled for April 2017,â€ he said.
He said the soon to be opened Cosmopolitan Mall created about 1,000 temporary jobs during construction and at least 400 permanent jobs will be created after completion of the mall.
â€œTenancy occupation is on course with top quality brands such as Shoprite, Game, Woolworths, Edgars, Foschini, Mr Price already finalising works,â€ Mr Ras said.
And Stanbic Bank head of investment banking Chungu Kaunda commended Heriot Properties for its commitment and investment in the country.
â€œThey [Heriot] have shown commitment to the development of shopping malls in Zambia due to the enabling economic conditions, and a rising middle income sector with disposable income for goods and services provided by malls,â€ he said.
Mr Kaunda said Stanbic Bank has established a partnership with Heriot Properties as financiers on a number of their property developments.
â€œIt is gratifying to see their plans come to reality to add real tangible economic and social value for Zambians,â€ he said.
KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka