MFEZS attract $2.5bn investment

MFEZS attract $2.5bn investment

ZAMBIA’S three major economic zones have attracted US$2.5 billion investment commitments since inception.
The country has Chambishi on the Copperbelt, Lusaka East and Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) among others running.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said the three economic zones had made steady progress with accumulated investment commitments of more than $2.5 billion contributing more than 9,000 employment opportunities.
Ms Mwanakatwe said in an interview that in all the three economic zones, there were approximately 60 companies operating.
“I would like to indicate that the development of MFEZs is long term and therefore, it is too early to fully realise the envisaged benefits as the zones programme in Zambia has only been in existence for eight years.
“I am glad to say that the major economic zones running in the country have made steady progress with attractive accumulated investment commitments,” Ms Mwanakatwe said.
She explained that the Chambishi MFEZ was partially developed.
But she said that significant progress had been made in the development of infrastructure which included water and sanitation, road networks and power supply, among others.
Ms Mwanakatwe said estimated investments in the zone were in excess of $1.5 billion with infrastructure development taking up more than  $180 million.
“The Chambishi MFEZ houses over 44 zone enterprises with the anchor enterprise being the Chambeshi Copper Smelter (CCS) Limited which processes concentrates to produce copper blister for export,” she said.
Ms Mwanakatwe added that in 2016, the MFEZs performed well as the CCS was able to process 150,000 tonnes of blister copper for a volume of $450 million export despite the low copper prices on the international market.
She said the Zone once fully operational would create over 8,418 jobs for the locals.
Ms Mwanakatwe said the Government remained committed to creating a favourable environment for investors, both local and foreign to conduct value added business.
She said Government was ready to welcome the formation of joint ventures between foreign investors and our local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

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