Zambia to ammend immigration law for Turkish business-RB

President Rupiah Banda said Wednesday that Zambia aimed to take advantage of Turkey’s experiences for development.

Banda, who is in Turkey with a business delegation, attended the Turkey-Zambia Trade and Investment Forum convened in Istanbul.

He said they came to Turkey to learn lessons from Turkey’s experiences, adding, “Turkey is a developed country and we are happy to be given such a chance.”

Banda said the forum was an important opportunity for them to promote their country in Turkey as his country offered a lot for foreign businessmen.

Banda also said that Zambia would amend its immigration law and arrange its visa regime for Turkish businessmen. He added that Zambia had plans to open an embassy in Turkey.

Rizanur Meral, head of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) which organized the forum, told the meeting that his confederation had been carrying out a project, “the Foreign Trade Bridge” in a bid to help Turkish companies expand to different markets, such as Africa, Asia-Pasific region and Eurasia.

Within the scope of this program, Turkey hosted 107 ministers, 225 other government officials and 4,350 businessmen from 45 African countries, Meral said, adding, “Turkish companies added African markets to their target areas.”

“Today, this is the reason why we are here with over 100 Turkish businessmen. Trade volume between Turkey and Zambia was 5.2 million USD last year. We believe it is not the potential between the two countries. We aim to make it 100 million as soon as possible. Because we believe in Zambia’s potential,” he said.

BELOW IS WHAT PRESIDENT BANDA SAID WORD FOR WORD:

YOUR EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

CHAIRPERSON OF THE CONFEDERATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIALISTS OF TURKEY (TUSKON)

CABINET MINISTERS AND DEPUTY MINISTERS FROM BOTH COUNTRIES

CHIEF EXECUTIVES, HEADS AND REPRESENTATIVES OF CORPORATE, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

ALL PROTOCOLS OBSERVED

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

A GOOD MORNING TO YOU ALL

IT IS MY HONOUR AND PRIVILEDGE TO LEAD THE ZAMBIAN DELEGATION AND OFFICIATE AT THIS IMPORTANT OCCASION. ALLOW ME TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TURKEY FOR HAVING US HERE TODAY AND TO TUSKON, FOR THE GRACIOUS HOSPITALITY EXTENDED TO THE ZAMBIAN BUSINESS DELEGATION DURING THIS MISSION.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

MAY I BEGIN BY WELCOMING THE FACT THAT ALTHOUGH THE LEVEL OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES HAS NOT BEEN MUCH, ECONOMIC COOPERATION THROUGH INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT IS A CRITICAL TOOL IN FOSTERING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND SUCH MISSIONS AS THIS WILL HELP STRENGTHEN OUR ECONOMIC RELATIONS. IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS, ZAMBIA HAS EXPORTED GOODS WORTH $879,000 TO TURKEY. AT THE SAME TIME, ZAMBIA IMPORTED GOODS WORTH $10.8 MILLION, MAINLY MACHINERY, ELECTRONIC AND ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT FROM TURKEY. THE HUGE TRADE IMBALANCE IMPLIES THAT THERE STILL EXISTS GREAT POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED TRADE BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES OWING TO THE STRONG ECONOMIC COMPLEMENTARITIES AND ENORMOUS DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES, WHICH IF FOSTERED COULD YIELD MUTUAL BENEFITS.

THROUGH THESE RELATIONS, WE WILL ABLE TO ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL, TANGIBLE BENEFITS THROUGH TRADE THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE OTHERWISE

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

I AM PLEASED TO NOTE THAT THIS UNDERTAKING IS AS A RESULT OF MY COUNTRY’S PARTICIPATION IN THE JUST ENDED TURKEY WORLD TRADE BRIDGE 2010, WHICH YIELDED POSITIVE RESULTS.  I AM GLAD TO NOTE ALSO THAT THIS VISIT WILL CONSOLIDATE THE RELATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

I AM ALSO CONFIDENT THAT THE BONDS OF COOPERATION AND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES THAT AROSE DURING THE TRADE BRIDGE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO IMPROVING THE TRADE RELATIONS BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES IN THE YEARS AHEAD.

IT IS MY SINCERE HOPE THAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY HERE IN TURKEY WOULD RECIPROCATE BY SHOWCASING THE VARIOUS PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE SOURCED HERE AND THAT THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN OUR BUSINESSPEOPLE WILL CULMINATE INTO LONG TERM BUSINESS RELATIONS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

YOU MAY WELL KNOW THAT THE RECENT GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS, WHICH LED TO THE WORST GLOBAL ECONOMIC RECESSION EVER, DID NOT SPARE MOST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, INCLUDING ZAMBIA. ZAMBIA HOWEVER WEATHERED THE EFFECTS OF THE CRISIS AND MANAGED TO RECORD POSITIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF OVER 6 PERCENT. THE EFFECTS OF THE CRISIS, THOUGH WANING, WILL HAVE LONG TERM EFFECTS ON THE GROWTH OF MOST ECONOMIES.

HOWEVER, IF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT THE ECONOMIC CRISIS HAS TAUGHT US, IT IS THE URGENT NEED TO DEEPEN ECONOMIC COOPERATION AMONGST OURSELVES.  WE SHOULD NOW BEGIN TO LOOK MORE CLOSELY AT THE SCOPE FOR DEVELOPING GREATER COMMERCIAL AND TRADE LINKS AND FOCUS IN PARTICULAR ON WHAT CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS AREAS OF SIGNIFICANT FUTURE POTENTIAL.

DURING THE RECENT WORLD TRADE BRIDGE, OUR TRADE MINISTERS RESOLVED TO ENSURE LONG TERM COLLABORATION IN THE FIELDS OF INVESTMENT, TRADE FACILITATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF COMMON DIALOGUE. THEY ALSO RECOGNIZED THAT BILATERAL COOPERATION FOUNDED TODAY WOULD PLAY A KEY ROLE IN THE RECOVERY OF OUR ECONOMIES AFFECTED BY THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS.

TODAY, WE FIND OURSELVES WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEEPEN THIS COOPERATION BY ENHANCING TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATIONS BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES.

LOOKING AHEAD, IT IS CRITICAL THAT OUR TWO COUNTRIES CONTINUE OUR VIGOROUS EFFORTS AND TAKE WHATEVER FURTHER ACTIONS ARE NECESSARY TO FURTHER ENHANCE TRADE BETWEEN OURSELVES.

AT THIS JUNCTURE, ALLOW ME TO PRESENT THE LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES THAT ZAMBIA HAS.  THERE IS HUGE UNEXPLOITED INVESTMENT POTENTIAL IN MANY SECTORS OF THE ZAMBIAN ECONOMY; NOTABLY AGRICULTURE, MINING, ENERGY, TOURISM AND INFRASTRUCTURE.

APART FROM INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN MAINSTREAM AGRICULTURE, THERE IS A LOT OF UNTAPPED POTENTIAL FOR INVESTMENT IN THE AGRO-PROCESSING INDUSTRY. THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR IS A KEY LINKAGE TO THE PRIMARY SECTORS LIKE AGRICULTURE AS ITS PROCESSES ADD VALUE TO LOCALLY PRODUCED PRIMARY PRODUCTS. ZAMBIAN FARMERS PRODUCE A LOT OF INDUSTRIAL CROPS SUCH AS TOBACCO, COFFEE, AND COTTON THAT REQUIRE MACHINERY TO PROCESS THESE PRODUCTS INTO FINISHED COMMODITIES THAT HAVE MORE VALUE ADDED TO THEM. IMPORT SUBSTITUTION FOR A WIDE RANGE OF PRODUCTS THAT ZAMBIA IS CURRENTLY IMPORTING ALSO OFFERS AN ATTRACTIVE OPPORTUNITY FOR INVESTMENT.

INVESTORS ARE ASSURED OF A READY MARKET FROM SEVERAL LARGE SCALE AND MEDIUM SCALE FARMERS THAT REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF PROCESSING PLANTS.

IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT IN THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR, MY GOVERNMENT HAS ALLOCATED VAST TRACKS OF LAND NEAR RAIL AND ROAD NETWORKS FOR PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS. ELECTRIFICATION OF THESE BLOCKS IS ALSO ON GOING.

THERE IS ALSO ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY, GIVEN ZAMBIA’S SELF-SUFFICIENCY IN COTTON PRODUCTION.

THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE TOURISM SECTOR THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE KASABA BAY, WHICH LIES IN THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT OF THE COUNTRY.

IN THE ENERGY SECTOR, HUGE POTENTIAL LIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF LARGE AND MINI-HYDRO POWER STATIONS, AS WELL AS BIOFUEL.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES EXIST IN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (PPPS). MY GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO ENACTED THE PPP POLICY TO GUIDE THEIR IMPLEMENTATION.

THE GOVERNMENT IS ALSO IMPLEMENTING THE MULTI FACILITY ECONOMIC ZONES.  THESE ARE INDUSTRIAL AREAS FOR BOTH EXPORT-ORIENTED AND DOMESTIC ORIENTATED INDUSTRIES WITH THE NECESSARY FACILITIES PROVIDED.  THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO EMBARKED ON AN EXERCISE TO IDENTIFY LAND FOR THE CREATION OF LAND BANKS FOR PURPOSES OF INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES.  THIS WILL GREATLY IMPROVE THE SPEED OF LAND DELIVERY FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSES.

I THEREFORE IMPLORE ON THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN TURKEY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES AND INVESTMENT IN THE MFEZS.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS,

IN ORDER TO REALIZE THE IMMENSE OPPORTUNITIES I HAVE PRESENTED TO YOU, MY GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN MAKING CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS TOWARDS THE CREATION OF A CONDUCIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT, WHICH HAVE ALREADY STARTED BEARING FRUIT. AMONG THE ACHIEVEMENTS INCLUDE THE CREATION OF A ONE STOP FACILITY , NAMELY THE ZAMBIA DEVELOPMENT AGENCY.

THE ZAMBIA DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, SERVING AS AN INSTITUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TRADE AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION, HAS BEEN MAKING EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC AND TRADE COOPERATION WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. THIS MISSION THEREFORE PROVIDES A VALUABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITIES OF OUR TWO COUNTRIES TO ACHIEVE REMARKABLE RESULTS IN THE AREA OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT.

AS A RESULT OF THESE REFORMS, ZAMBIA’S RANKING IN EASE OF DOING BUSINESS INDEX HAS CONTINUALLY IMPROVED AND IS CURRENTLY AT 90 OUT OF 183 COUNTRIES AND SECOND ONLY TO SOUTH AFRICA. THIS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, AS WELL AS THE INCREASING PRESENCE OF FOREIGN FIRMS IN ZAMBIA, BEARS TESTIMONY TO THE CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT IN THE COUNTRY.

IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE ZAMBIA A COMPETITIVE AND PREFERRED CHOICE DESTINATION FOR INVESTMENT, MY GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO DESIGNED A PACKAGE OF INCENTIVES AIMED AT SPECIFICALLY ESTABLISHING AN ENVIRONMENT FOR INCREASED DOMESTIC INDUSTRIAL GROWTH, ATTRACTING FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND EXPORT PROMOTION.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, IT WOULD BE AMISS OF ME NOT TO MENTION THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN ZAMBIA.

ZAMBIA IS THE EPICENTRE OF PEACE AND STABILITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA. ITS SOCIAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY, TOGETHER WITH PAST AND PRESENT POLICY CHOICES ARE THE FOUNDATION OF CURRENT OVERALL STABILITY. THEREFORE MY GOVERNMENT HAS CONTINUALLY STRIVED TO MAINTAIN PEACE AND STABILITY IN THE ECONOMY.

THE ECONOMIC FUNDAMENTALS HAVE ALSO BEEN FAVOURABLE; ECONOMIC GROWTH HAS BEEN POSITIVE FOR OVER TEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS; INFLATION HAS BEEN LOW AND EXPORTS AND INVESTMENTS HAVE BEEN RISING.

THIS AND MANY OTHER FACTORS MAKE ZAMBIA A UNIQUE PLACE TO INVEST.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO PUT IN PLACE MEASURES TO DIVERSIFY THE ECONOMY FROM THE TRADITIONAL COPPER AND COBALT PRODUCTION TO NON-TRADITIONAL PRODUCTION AND EXPORTS. OUR DIVERSIFICATION EFFORTS HAVE YIELDED POSITIVE RESULTS AS THE NON TRADITIONAL EXPORT SECTOR HAS CONTINUED TO EXHIBIT A POSITIVE AND FAVORABLE PERFORMANCE. THE EXPORT OF THESE PRODUCTS HAS MORE THAN TRIPLED THEIR VALUE INCREASING FROM US$485 MILLION IN 2004 TO US$1.4 BILLION IN 2009.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

AS YOU MAY KNOW, ZAMBIA IS CENTRALLY LOCATED AND SURROUNDED BY EIGHT COUNTRIES, AND IS THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE REGION WITH THIS MANY NEIGHBOURS. THIS UNIQUE LOCATION PUTS THE COUNTRY AT AN ADVANTAGE TO BECOME A DISTRIBUTION HUB FOR MANY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. 

ZAMBIA’S ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE COMESA CUSTOMS UNION AND THE SADC TRADE PROTOCOL OFFERS PREFERENTIAL TARIFF ACCESS TO TOTAL MARKET POTENTIAL OF NEARLY 400 MILLION PEOPLE. SIMILARLY, THE DUTY FREE ACCESS TO THE HUGE US MARKET THROUGH THE AFRICA GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (AGOA) HAS BECOME A REALITY. IN ADDITION ZAMBIA IS ELIGIBLE FOR PREFERENTIAL MARKET ACCESS THROUGH THE EBA, CHINESE, JAPAN AND CANADIAN MARKET INITIATIVES.

I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE BUSINESS LINKS CREATED BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTIES WILL RESULT IN A FURTHER ACCELERATION OF TRADE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF PRODUCTS AND SECTORS.  

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

THE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT ATTACHES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO STRENGTHENING TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER COUNTRIES AND STRONGLY ENCOURAGES ZAMBIAN ENTERPRISES TO EXPLORE MARKETS IN THE WORLD. AN EVER-INCREASING NUMBER OF ZAMBIAN BUSINESSMEN HAVE SHOWN SPECIAL INTEREST AND ENTHUSIASM IN DEVELOPING TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION WITH THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

AS THE LEADER OF THE ZAMBIAN BUSINESS DELEGATION, I SINCERELY HOPE THAT DELEGATES FROM BOTH SIDES CAN COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER AND MAKE JOINT EFFORTS SO AS TO CONTINUE THE PROMOTION OF THE FRIENDSHIP AND BILATERAL COOPERATION THE TWO COUNTRIES HAVE CREATED.

THEREFORE, DURING THIS VISIT, I AM LEADING A DELEGATION THAT BELIEVES THAT EQUITABLE AND JUST PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN COUNTRIES IS THE FORMULA FOR AFRICA’S INTEGRATION INTO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

ALLOW ME TO CLOSE BY INVITING THE TURKISH BUSINESSPEOPLE TO SAMPLE THE IMMENSE OPPORTUNITIES THAT EXIST IN ZAMBIA. ALLOW ME ALSO TO ONCE AGAIN SAY HOW HONORED I AM BY THE HOSPITALITY OF OUR TURKISH FRIENDS.  I WISH TO THANK THE PRESIDENT OF TUSKON, NOT ONLY FOR HIS HOSPITALITY, BUT ALSO FOR HIS EFFORTS AND LEADERSHIP IN STRENGTHENING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ZAMBIA AND TURKEY.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOUR BUSINESS PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE AS WE JOINTLY TACKLE THE BIG ECONOMIC CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME.

I BELIEVE ZAMBIA AND TURKEY CAN BUILD A BRIGHTER FUTURE IF OUR RELATIONSHIP IS BASED ON TWO THINGS; FRIENDSHIP AND MUTUAL TRUST.

LET US PROCEED ON THAT BASIS.

I THANK YOU.

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