Zambia: Veep Woos Italian
VICE-President Rupiah Banda has urged Italian investors to take advantage of Zambia's good investment climate and set up businesses in the country.
He said Zambia offers exemption on duty of heavy duty machinery, repatriation of profits and zero tax rate on dividends and profits for companies operating in the priority sectors.
The Vice-President said this in Rome yesterday when he met some members of the Italian business community.
Among the Italian firms that attended the meeting include Comer Engineering Company that specialises in the recycling of industrial waste and the Italian Hydro Carbon Corporation (ENI) and the Italian Confederation of Farmers .
Mr Banda added that the country had an open door policy for investors stressing that the Government had simplified procedures for investment and land delivery systems.
"Zambia has been posting a positive economic growth rate of around five per cent per annum, inflation has dropped to single digit while interest rates have equally fallen leading to improved macro economic performance," he said.
Mr Banda said the country had successfully revamped the agriculture sector, which had been put at the centre stage of the nation's economy.
He also added that tourism, which was the second priority sector in the country offered opportunities for investment in infrastructure and transport services.
"In construction, opportunities exist in road pavement, earth works, bridges, drainage structure, road maintenance and rehabilitation," he said.
He added that: "Others are construction of residential houses, apartments and business and commercial buildings."
The Vice-President is in Italy to represent President Mwanawasa at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) annual congress, which opened in the Italian capital on Monday.
And the Italian Confederation of Farmers said it was looking for opportunities in Zambia to establish new markets for its businesses.
Grazia Buccarelli said companies affiliated to her organisation were looking for new markets in Zambia.
Ms Buccarelli said companies were willing to transfer the technological know how in new markets in order to promote the empowerment of the local people.
And ENI Analysis and International relations officer, Manuei Liverzani said the company, with strong presence in 73 countries in the world, intended to expand its business in other countries in Africa .
Of the 73 firms globally, she said, the company was only operating in six African countries that were mainly concentrated in North and West Africa.
She said ENI, which also specialised in engineering and construction, was interested in the oil exploration missions and the construction of the pipelines.
Meanwhile, Mr Banda has urged Zambians resident in Italy to come back home and share their knowledge for the development of the country.
Mr Banda said Zambians who had gained experience in various skills while abroad should return home and help develop the country.
Economy, Business and Finance
He said Zambians back home were working hard in various sectors of the economy in order to develop the country.
Speaking when he addressed Zambians resident in Italy during dinner last night, Mr Banda also commended the Catholic Church for its humanitarian support.