The China Development Bank (CDB) and the Zambia-China Economic & Trade Cooperation Zone (ZCCZ) have signed a loan of US$29 million to improve infrastructure at Lusaka Park, a senior Chinese bank official said.
The Zambia people will pay back the loan in future though almost all the companies operating in the Lusaka park are Chinese.
The improvement of infrastructure at the ZCCZ is aimed at providing a better development platform for enterprises in the park, said Zhu Liqun, the president of CDB’s Jiangxi branch.
Zhu said that in August 2014, CDB signed the first loan agreement with ZCCZ and Bank of China Zambia. Zhu hopes that through two loans of a total of US$59 million, it could further accelerate the development of infrastructure in ZCCZ Lusaka Park and attract more Chinese enterprises to invest in Zambia and promote local economic development.
The ZCCZ is the first multi-facility economic zone declared by the Zambian government.
CDB has so far provided loans amounting to US$410 million to Zambia in areas such as metallurgy, roads and real estate, which have gone a long way in supporting the African nation’s economic development and trade, according to Xinua, the official Chinese news agency.
The idea of establishing a special economic zone (SEZ) ostensibly surfaced in 2004, initiated by Non-Ferrous Metals Corporation Africa (NFCA). The NFCA is the Zambian subsidiary of China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Group Company (CNMC, a mining SOE), which had been exploring Chambishi copper mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt since 1998.
The NFCA approached the Zambian government with a proposal to set up an industrial park for copper processing in Chambishi.
The new Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) regulations, envisaging the provision of a competitive environment for investors to process Zambia’s natural resources within its borders, was issued in 2006 (the Zambia Development Agency Act No 11 of 2006). That same year, China announced its intention to establish three to five economic and trade co-operation zones (ETCZs) in Africa.