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French investment to soar

FRENCH investments into Zambia are expected to increase from the about €18 million recorded in 2012  following continued interest by multinationals in country’s economy, ambassador Emmanuel Cohet has disclosed.
Mr Cohet said Zambia, which recorded about €18 million investment from France in 2012, is expected to attract more investment owing to sound economic policies prevailing in the country.
He said the €18 million recorded in 2012 was injected by 20 companies operating in Zambia and covers sectors including manufacturing, energy, services and agriculture.
“We have big companies like Total, Lafarge, Astom and other companies in Hitec, agriculture and other sectors that have been in Zambia for a long time and have invested in the economy because of the favourable environment,” Mr Cohet said in an interview on Wednesday.
This was after a French business delegation comprising of 25 companies signed a memorandum understanding (MoU) with Zambia Private Sector Alliance aimed at boosting business ties between French and local investors and will also enhance capacity building for local businesses.
The French companies, led by MEDEF International, which is a business confederation representing 800,000 companies, were in the country to explore business opportunities.
The delegation, which comprised companies in infrastructure, utilities, transport, logistics, industrial projects, water management and services, met President Lungu and the local business community.
Trade between Zambia and France stood at about € 28 million euros in 2013 with major goods traded being cotton, tobacco, industrial goods and services.
He said there is need to deepen trade and investment co-operation between the two countries to foster development.
MEDEF International vice chairman for Africa Gerard Wolf said, “French companies are convinced of Zambia’s economic potential and investment opportunities. The trend of new-comers is increasing smoothly, as the country offers a good environment for international investors.”
Meanwhile, Zambia Private Sector Alliance representative Thomson Sinkala said the alliance is confident that the partnership will boost the growth of the private sector.