SAfrica plans to invest $600m in Zambia
Lusaka, December 9, 2009
South Africa plans to invest $600 million in Zambia, Africa's top copper producer, to finance copper, agriculture and real estate projects in the next two years, Zambia's commerce minister, Felix Mutati said on Tuesday.
Mutati said during a meeting of Zambian and South African entrepreneurs held on the sidelines of a visit by President Jacob Zuma to Zambia that other investments from South Africa were going to be directed to Zambia's manufacturing sector.
Mutati said South Africa's African Rainbow Minerals would invest $250 million to develop the Konkola North Copper (Konoco) project between Chingola and Chililabombwe, situated north-west of Lusaka.
'These are critical investments that over the next two years will be in excess of $600 million, surpassing what we have achieved in the last 15 years between the two countries,' Mutati said.
Mutati cited other projects as the construction of a shopping complex in Lusaka by South Africa's HBW and a similar shopping complex on Copperbelt expected to cost $160 million.
'We see increased interest by many South African companies in investing in Zambia,' Mutati said.
South Africa deputy minister for Trade and Industry Bongi Maria Ntoli said the global economic crisis had shown that Africa's buffer zone lies in promoting intra-continental trade.
Zambia is South Africa's fourth biggest trading partner in Africa while it is the biggest in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) with a total trade volume currently at $2.1 billion.
'There still remains huge untapped potential between the two countries in other sectors and to this end I would like to urge Zambian companies to look positively at exploring opportunities that exist in South Africa,' Ntoli said.
The two countries, both faced with an energy crisis, also signed an agreement to jointly invest in new power generation projects for the smooth running of the nations' key mining and other industries.-Reuters