STEVEN MVULA, NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
MADAGASCAN President Hery Rajaonarimampianina says the private sector is the pillar of the economies of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states.
Mr Rajaonarimampianina said the private sector plays a key role in the creation of an enabling environment for the economy to thrive.
He is the current COMESA chairman.
“When we talk about diversification, the private sector comes into play. The private sector is a key partner of the COMESA region,” Mr Rajaonarimam-pianina said.
He was speaking yesterday when he visited Fairy Bottling Company, which packages and distributes Aquasavana bottled water and Planet beverages, off Mumbwa Road in Lusaka West.
“This company [Fairy Bottling] has responded to the needs of COMESA market, which is huge,” he said.
And chairman of Fairy Bottling Fouad Sahely said his company has created employment for local people and will continue to expand its investment.
Dr Sahely said Government’s progressive investment policies have enabled the company to invest in other sectors such as real estate and hospitality.
“The government of Zambia under the leadership of President Lungu has put in place policies that are business-friendly. So, we will continue to grow,” Dr Sahely said.
President Lungu on Wednesday night held a banquet for Mr Rajaonarimampianina at State House.
Meanwhile, Mr Rajaonarimampianina urged COMESA member states to break barriers that hinder trade among them.
He was speaking when he addressed COMESA employees at the secretariat in Lusaka.
And COMESA secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya said Mr Rajaonarimampianina’s visit had inspired the organisation to move to even greater heights.
Mr Rajaonarimampianina also planted a tree at the COMESA secretariat.
And a Zambian pharmaceutical company is set to start manufacturing antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for treating people living with HIV and AIDS, KEL-VIN CHONGO reports from Lusaka.
NRB Pharma director of operations Carolina Yeta said during Mr Rajaonarimampianina’s tour of the premises that the company is currently conducting trials on the locally manufactured ARVs.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba says the visits by several African presidents is an indication that Zambia is once again taking up its leadership role on the continent, STEVEN MVULA reports from Lusaka.
And Mr Kalaba says President Lungu will on June 22 and 23 attend the Nile Basin Initiative in Uganda as a special guest.
Mr Kalaba was speaking yesterday shortly after President Lungu saw off Mr Rajaonarimampianina, who returned to his country.