The Riyadh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI) of Saudi Arabia, has recently announced that it is seeking partnerships with private and public organization to undertake investments in the agriculture sector in Zambia.
The announce was done by RCCI Member of Board and Chairman of the Agricultural Committee, H.E. Mohamed Alhamadi, whom in a recent meeting with Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda in Riyadh, explained that Saudis companies are wailing to agricultural investments in the African country if conditions that ensure the safety of such investments are set.
On the other hand, Minister Lubinda explained that Zambia has a good chance to export agriculture produce to Saudi Arabia, given the Gulf’s country heavy reliance on food imports.
Zambia is currently addressing efforts to boost the agriculture sector to diversify the economy and meet increasing local and regional food demand, reason why the government is looking for private investors to support the country on these efforts, Minister Lubinda added.
Saudi Arabia is not currently among the main sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Zambia which has Canada and China topping the list accounting for more than 70% of the USD 1.6 billion recorded in FDI inflows in 2015.
However, Saudi Arabia is one of Zambia’s main development partners: the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has brought assistance to culminate the construction of the 800-bed hospital for children and women which was undertook in 2013 but remained stalled after the change in government last year.
Zambia has also so far received an approximated amount of USD 70 million (SAR 262 million) in help from the SFD according to Zambia’s Embassy to Saudi Arabia accounting for 1.15% of the total funds granted by the SFD in Africa which totals 307 projects across 44 countries at a total cumulative investment of SAR 22,868 million according to SFD’s 2014 annual report.