The government says it will not relent in its quest to promote and attract trade and meaningful investment in the country.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Chipoka Mulenga said his ministry is targeting to ensure that meaningful investments are realized in all sectors of the economy by creating a conducive business environment.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the inaugural EU Zambia Economic Forum in Lusaka, Mr Mulenga said government is focused on implementing policies that will transform the economic landscape of the country.
“Today we see and witness another milestone being achieved in the quest to increase trade and investment in our country,” said Mr Mulenga.
He said the forum should signify the beginning of times that the EU and Zambia began doing business in a different manner.
Mr Mulenga said Zambia should not only focus on trade and investment but value addition that will give birth to industrialization in the country.
The minister said after the end of the summit, his ministry will engage the EU Delegation to Zambia to build on the gains of the forum.
Speaking at the same forum, AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining, Albert Muchanga urged Zambian businesses not to restrict themselves to the Zambian market that has only 18 million consumers but look at the African market that has 1.6 billion people.
Ambassador Muchanga said Zambia needs to mobilise resources and increase its share of global trade.
He said this can be attained through moving away from production and export of commodities to value addition.
Mr Muchanga said Zambia should take advantage of the Intra African Trade Fair as a vehicle for marketing Zambian products and creating business linkages.
He said the AU created the African Trade Observatory that shows market opportunities of all exports, imports and investments.
Ambassador Muchanga wondered why African countries only access about US$48 billion out of US$279 trillion dollars global investment funds and challenged the continent to change the narrative and access the funds to invest in their economies.
And EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski said there is need to strengthen the longstanding trade and investment relations.
Ambassador Wojciechowski said the EU is keen to support Zambia’s agriculture sector so that it can tap into the food gap created by the Russia –Ukraine war.
He said there is need to support small scale farmers in Zambia and the world to ensure food security in the country and the globe.
Ambassador Wojciechowski pointed out that according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) small scale farmers use about 12 percent of land to produce 35 per cent of the world’s food.
Mr Wojciechowski said there is need for Zambia to transform its economy to the global green model as it has sustainable benefits to the country and people.
The EU Zambia Economic Forum which runs from May 17 to 19 2022, is being held under the theme Economic Transformation through Green Growth.