STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
SOME of Zambiaâ€™s biggest investors have announced expansion programmes owing to prevailing enabling operating environment.
And the Zambia High Commission in London has launched its Zambia @ 50 golden jubilee commemorations at a business breakfast meeting where the major investors endorsed the country as an investment destination of choice.
Vedanta Resources, the owners of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), First Quantum Minerals (FQM), the owners of Kansanshi Mine and Associated British Sugar, the owners of Zambia Sugar Plc, endorsed Zambia as a stable and business-friendly environment.
This is according to a statement issued yesterday by press secretary at Zambiaâ€™s mission in London, Amos Chanda.
Mr Chanda said Vedanta Resources non-executive director, Geoffrey Green, said investors wishing to put their money in Zambia should get it from Vedanta that the country is an exceptionally safe and viable investment destination.
â€œIn the last 10 years, we have been doing business in Zambia, we have come to appreciate the stable and predictable operating environment necessary for business,â€ Mr Green said.
He said the positive medium- to long-term outlook of the Zambian economy has made it possible for Vedanta to unveil a 50-year investment vision for the country.
â€œAs operators of Zambiaâ€™s largest mine and largest single private sector employer, we can assure you the long-term prospects for mining in Zambia look pretty good,â€ Mr Green said.
FQM representative John Goldstone, who is in-charge of the companyâ€™s relations with the Zambian government, says the upbeat atmosphere in the Zambian economy has encouraged his company to expand its investments from humble beginnings at Ndolaâ€™s Bwana Mkubwa mine to the current world class mines at Kansanshi and Kalumbila in Solwezi.
â€œZambia is our spiritual home for our global investment,â€ Mr Goldstone said. â€œZambia has a very bright future and we are proud to be part of it,â€ he said.
And Associated British Sugar Group chief executive, Mark Carr said the Zambia Sugar operation at Nakambala estates in Mazabuka is the groupâ€™s largest investment in sub-Saharan Africa because the company remains confident of Zambiaâ€™s business-friendly credentials.
â€œWe are committed to growing the operation with new investments,â€ Dr Carr said.
â€œOur commitment to staying in Zambia is undoubted. We see great growth potential in Zambia. We produce not just sugar but also sustainable energy from biomass,â€ he said.
Zambiaâ€™s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Paul Lumbi, told investors that Zambia is open to business and that the ongoing massive investments in infrastructure development will further improve the business environment.
STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka