After President Edgar Lungu’s recent State visit to China where President Xi Jinping called for collaboration of the two countries in areas of infrastructure construction, electricity, mining, agriculture and manufacturing, two construction companies were set to visit the country to assess investment opportunities.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said the President’s visit attracted US$2.4 billion in investment pledges from Chinese companies and a further US$800 million investment pledges were expected. The areas of concentration would also extend to rail construction, cable manufacturing, milling, agriculture, timber production, pharmaceutical and motor assembly.
The two firms, which were expected last week in the country, would visit after the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) met representatives in the China’s construction sector. ZDA director Ms Chaila has said the construction firms were interested in meeting stakeholders in the construction industry to assess investment opportunities.
He said he would encourage more companies to invest in Zambia and hoped that the latter would provide more favorable conditions.
The two presidents also witnessed signing of four cooperation agreements in the areas of economic technology, infrastructure construction and communication.
The two construction companies, Shanxi Jiawei Building Materials (SJBM) and Shanxi Construction companies were expected to meet Civil Engineers Association and the Zambia Bureau of Standards among other stakeholders in the industry.
“During our investment forum in China, we met with representatives from China’s construction sector, SJBM and Shanxi have confirmed a follow up visit to Zambia to come and assess the market,” She said. She said that one of the firms Zambia Development Agency had met in China had expressed interest in investing in the country.
She said that once their investment was materialized, it would benefit the country through reduction of cost of construction and employment creation. The products would also be exported to regional markets. “This investment if realised will be revolutionary considering the booming construction industry,” she said.
Zambia, which has already initiated massive road construction programs such as the Link Zambia 8000 has said it needed more business opportunities from China. It has also initiated some projects to boost business with neighbors.
Shanxi Jiawei Building Materials (SJBM) deals in concrete admixtures.