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Investor confidence in Zambian economy high

THAT Zambia is in the final negotiating stage for a US$100 million loan with Poland aimed at developing and modernising agricultural technical equipment is good news.
It sends a loud message about Government’s seriousness about diversifying the economy, which has for five decades depended on copper.
Agriculture is the way to go and all countries which have invested heavily in agriculture have never regretted.
Besides our quest to be self-reliant food-wise, we could also start exporting the surplus to other countries that are in need of food.
Zambia is blessed with fertile soils, abundant water from all manner of sources which should be utilised to the fullest.
Zambia holds about 40 percent of the water resources in the Southern African Development Community.
But investment in the agriculture sector has not been adequate to enable the country translate its potential into reality.
Therefore, the loan of US$100 million which is at the final negotiation stage designed to develop and modernise the agricultural technical equipment in Zambia, is a step in the right direction.
In emerging economies, Government takes the driving seat while the public sector complements.
Government institutions such as the Zambia Correctional Services, the Zambia National Service and others have been instrumental in ensuring that Zambia continues to be food secure.
However, they have been doing this with almost obsolete equipment.
They cannot wait to have modern equipment to increase their production.
However, for the developing and modernising agricultural technical equipment programme to be sustainable, learning institutions such as the University of Zambia’s school of agriculture, the Natural Resources Development College and several colleges of agriculture as well as research institutions like the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute also need to be involved.
Research institutions and colleges of agriculture are critical in the country’s quest for agricultural development.
As the deal for the US$100 million with Poland is in the final negotiating stage, we hope that research institutions and learning institutions will be captured to capacity-build critical staff in the chain.
We are also happy that besides the loan deal, a trade mission of about 11 Polish companies and government representatives arrived in the country yesterday to explore investment opportunities and business co-operation with Zambia.
The business forum is expected to create a platform for better understanding of trade and investment opportunities Zambia and Poland.
The investment opportunities that would be considered mainly relate to agriculture, focusing on agricultural infrastructure, the processing industry, mining, steel industry, automotive, energy, infrastructure and defence sectors.
This is a clear indication that investors’ confidence in our economy is alive despite having gone through a difficult political phase after the August 11, 2016 elections.
This is because Zambia’s framework for foreign direct investment is in line with good international practice.