The Zambian government has recently announced that President Lungu’s visit to France between February 6th and 9th, 2016, concluded with a remarked success which will bring to the country foreign direct investment (FDI) in key economic sectors as well as promote bilateral trade.
President Lungu met in France with President Francois Hollande to mainly discuss ways to promote bilateral trade and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French Development Agency (AFD) to boost the financial sector according to AFD’s framework in Zambia.
In addition, President Lungu met with the French Council of Investors in Africa (CIAN), a business association representing most of French private sector investments in Africa, to explain and assure them that their investments will be safe in Zambia.
President Lungu also met with another French business communities and high profile business people, to ensure that the information given is accurate and correct since last year the international business community thought that the government had imposed foreign exchange controls, explained Zambia’s Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, Mr. Amos Chanda.
Private investors showed interest in the renewable energy sector for lighting the country using renewable sources and support Zambia’s Rural Electrification program, Mr. Chanda added.
On the other hand, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Director General Patrick Chisanga, met with investors from the Movement of Enterprises of France (MEDEF) to exhibit available investment opportunities in Farm Blocks in the country’s agriculture sector to market the agro-processing industry and promote value addition to local crops and reduce their import.
Moreover, in a personal meeting with France’s Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, and a representative from Sky Power Global, the guidelines for the development of an 800 MW solar power plant and solar panel manufacturing plant within the next five years were discussed, Mr. Chisanga added.
Among other fields discussed and agreements signed, a cooperation was agreed between Universities of Zambia and Nantes’ School of Mines while a third one was sealed between France24, the state-owned international news and current affairs broadcast television channel, and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) for the transmission of France24 in English and French on Zambia’s public Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV).
The agreement expects to strengthen the presence of French Medias and other investors in Zambia since the TV channel will reach 1 million households in 2016 to reach 100% coverage by 2020 according to France24 website.
FDI inflows from France to Zambia has grown from USD 16.3 million in 2011 to approximately USD 26.7 million in 2013 and representing about 1.5% of total FDI inflows to Zambia with Canada as the main provider of FDI inflows totaling USD 760 million in 2013 accounting for more than 40% of the total according to Investment Map.