Editor's Comment

Lusaka motor assembly good news

SURELY, Zambia is on the right path to economic prosperity as many indicators show. One such indicator is the setting up of a US$175 million motor vehicle assembly plant at the Lusaka South Multi- Facility Economic Zone which will potentially produce 20 vehicles per day.
Efforts by Government to grow our economy by creating a conducive environment for local and foreign investors are worth our commendation and that of all well-meaning Zambians.
A Zambian company, Gonow Zambia Limited, has partnered with China’s third largest producer and supplier of pick-ups, Zhejang Gonow Auto Company, to set up the assembly plant earmarked for a 2.5-hectare piece of land. Work has already commenced and will be completed in eight months.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe could not be more right when she said the setting up of the motor vehicle assembly plant is a milestone not only in the development of the country’s manufacturing industry but also in supporting technology transfer.
This project is reminiscent of the Livingstone Motor Assembly which shut down in 1992 due to harsh economic conditions, following many years of promising enterprise.
Had the company been in existence up to today, it would have made a lot of profits because it would embody expertise in motor vehicle assembly and repair from all over the world. That would have seen it make a huge impact on Zambia’s economy.
But that is water under the bridge. Now, we need to focus on the benefits the Gonow Zambia Limited/ Zhejang Gonow Auto Company motor assembly plant will bring to the people of Zambia economically and their positive spill-over effects.
We are especially happy that about 500 jobs are in the offing as a result of the same business undertaking.
“Gonow Zambia Limited, once fully operational, will invest over US$179 million. I am informed that in the initial phase of the plant, the company will invest US$4.6 million creating 200 direct jobs and another 300 indirect jobs through local business development in motor vehicle dealerships and auto spare retailers, among others,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.
We wish to echo the minister’s advice to the company to make the most of Zambia’s membership of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to access their combined massive market for their pick-up vehicles.
It is heartening that the manufacturing sector is being re-invigorated. We are hopeful and happy that soon the sector will be as vibrant as it used to be, maybe even more, for the greater economic development of this country.
It is in this light that we hail the establishment of the Gonow Zambia Limited/ Zhejang Gonow Auto Company motor assembly plant and call on all interested parties to ensure the success of the mega business project

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