CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Addis Ababa
MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has invited the Polish business community for different trade fairs and exhibitions to be held in Zambia this year.
The exhibitions include the Agritech Expo scheduled from April 27 to 29 in Chisamba, the Zambia Mining and Energy Conference (ZIMEC) from June 22 to 23 in Lusaka and the Zambia Sustainable Energy Expo (ZSEE) from June 21 to 23 in Lusaka.
Others are the Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF) scheduled from June 28 in Ndola and the Zambia International Building, Construction and Interiors Exhibition from November 9 to 11.
Mr Kalaba urged the Polish government to take advantage of Zambiaâ€™s stable political environment, attractive fiscal policies, availability of skilled human resource and abundant resources.
He said this during a bilateral meeting with Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Joanna Wronecka at Sheraton Hotel yesterday.
Mr Kalaba thanked the Polish minister, the 11 Polish companies and government representatives that came to Zambia in November 2016 to explore investment opportunities and business co-operation with Zambia.
â€œI note that Polandâ€™s trade and investment activities have generally focused on its more immediate neighbours in the European Union such as Germany. However, Poland has undertaken a radical programme called â€˜Go Africanâ€™, which seeks to encourage Polish entrepreneurs to invest in Africa,â€ he said.
Mr Kalaba said there is also need for the two countries to exchange experiences regarding legislation of foreign investors, royalties, tax regime, incentives and value addition among others in the mining sector.
He said Zambia and Poland are yet to sign a general agreement on economic, scientific and technical co-operation.
Mr Kalaba said the two governments signed a double taxation avoidance agreement in 1995.
â€œHowever, records show that the Polish side ratified this agreement while the Zambian side did not.Â Due to time lapse, a fresh draft agreement on avoidance of double taxation will be submitted for the consideration of the Polish side,â€ Mr Kalaba said.
He said the two countries should consider co-operating in sectors such as agriculture, industry trade, governance programmes and in international relations by establishing a diplomatic exchange programme between the ministries of Foreign Affairs.
And Ms Wronecka said it is important for the two countries to establish a partnership and that â€œZambia is becoming important to Polandâ€.
â€œAnd you have a Polish member of Parliament (MP) of Zambian origin who is very active,â€ she said in reference to Zambian-born and bred Polish economist and academician Dr Killion Munyama.
She said the new policies of the Polish government are trying to focus on creating close working ties with African countries.
Ms Wronecka invited the Zambian government to visit Poland and explore opportunities in that country and further asked government to support Poland as it vies for a seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council.