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Zambia still attracting FDIs

PRESIDENT Lungu with Handyman’s Lime and Astro Works Limited directors Michael Pasquini (right) during the official opening official opening of the lime and quarry plant in Masaiti on yesterday. PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE

NKOLE MULAMBIA & CHISHALA MUSONDA, Masaiti
PRESIDENT Lungu says Zambia still remains an attractive investment destination despite some misguided sentiments by some people to discourage foreign direct investment (FDI).
Mr Lungu is happy that investors are unperturbed by what detractors are peddling.
He was speaking when he commissioned the US$70 million quicklime and limestone quarry plant by Handyman’s Paradise in Masaiti district yesterday.
About 500 jobs were created during construction phase, with another 200 expected to be created during production phase.
“My administration is happy to witness this timely investment worth US$70 million. This plant will create new jobs and enhance competition that will help bring down cement prices in the country.
“If the investment environment was poor as someone alleged at a conference in London, there is no way investors would be putting more money in our economy,” he said.
Mr Lungu said times are hard, particularly on the Copperbelt, but people believe in Government’s ability to rise to the challenge.
He told people on the Copperbelt that Government would not let them down.
Mr Lungu said the project integrates well with Government’s vision of transforming the industrial sector, with the aim of creating more than one million jobs in five years.
He also commended the two foreign development banks, DEG and FMO from Germany and Netherlands, respectively, for pumping US$30 million into the project, saying this demonstrated investors’ confidence in the local economy.
He, however, urged local commercial banks to participate in lending to the private sector as it is an engine for economic growth.
The President assured the nation that Government is committed to maintaining a liberalised economy, where economic players are free to do business within the confines of the law.
He also extended an invitation to entrepreneurs in Zambia and across the globe to take advantage of the vast investment opportunities existing in the country.
Earlier, company founder Michael Pasquini thanked Government and the community in Masaiti for the support rendered to the project.
And senior chief Chiwala of the Lamba people assured the firm of continued support after the massive investment put up in the area.
And President Lungu promised that Government would accelerate the construction of the Chiwala road, which is an economic hub of Ndola.
Chiwala road, which borders Ndola and Masaiti districts, leads to Ndola Lime Company, Lafarge Zambia, Zambezi Portland Cement, Neelkanth Lime Company, Dangote Cement Industries and now Handyman’s Lime and Astro Quarries plant.
The President made the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on senior chief Chiwala at his palace in Masaiti district, saying the road is part of the Link Zambia 8000 project.
“It is part of Zambia’s bigger road network project,” he said.




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