Chinese One Road, One Belt plan receives State backing


The Chinese’s initiative to establish a one-stop investment centre where Chinese firms will establish their businesses in Zambia through the One Road, One Belt Zambia industrial park project will be supported, says Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba.

He told a high-powered Chinese business delegation yesterday during the launch of the project at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre that Government would fully support the project because it treasured the partnership with the private sector.

Mr. Kalaba said the project would not only create jobs for Zambians but will also improve the economy of the country which would be necessitated by Government’s programmes aimed at reducing the cost of doing business through the implementation of various business reforms.

He noted that the partnership between Zambia and China had always been cordial and stems from the time Zambia got her independence as demonstrated by China’s commitment in constructing the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA) at the time that its economy was facing some challenges.

“Zambia believes that through the partnership with the private sector, wealth and jobs will be created for all which will in turn contribute to reducing the incidence of poverty.

‘‘In that connection, Government is making strides in providing an enabling business environment for business to thrive and as such has embarked on programmes aimed at reducing the cost of doing business through the implementation of various business reforms.

“Zambia and China have always enjoyed wonderful bilateral relations which are evidenced by the construction of the TAZARA railway line at the time that the Chinese economy was facing some challenges. This project has strengthened ties between the two countries,” Mr. Kalaba said. He noted that Zambia was blessed with enormous natural resources and that in order to promote value addition to the raw materials, Government had put in place fiscal and non-fiscal incentives in key priority sectors such as mining, agriculture and tourism one of which was the income tax incentives for developers and operators of Multi-Facility Economic Zones.

He called on the Tianjin Physical distribution group and Zhongrum Investment Development Group to urgently engage Government to start the process of establishing the one Road, One Belt Industrial Park.

And speaking earlier, Chinese delegation leader and chairman of the Tianjin Teda Landon Group Zou Ling said the project provided an opportunity for Chinese companies that wanted to do business in Zambia and would offer over 1,000 jobs to Zambians once implemented.

Mr. Ling said the project would provide more investment opportunities to Zambia, thereby improving the revenue base of the country through foreign exchange and taxes that the investors would be paying to Government.

Meanwhile, Tianjin Federation of Industry and Commerce secretary General Luo Dao-Gang said some Chinese companies were interested in investing and establishing battery, bicycle, water pumps, biomedical, and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) manufacturing plants among others in Zambia through the project.