President Hakainde Hichilema should continue with his foreign trips to enable Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) move to about US$100 billion from the current US$20 billion.
President Hichilema needs to continue with his foriegn trips for the country realise the maximum benefit and grow its GDP, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Director General, Albert Halwampa, said.
Halwampa said the Agency had recorded investment pledges worth US$8.6 billion in the first quarter of this year, as 81 projects were registered.
He stated that this showed a significant increase compared with the same period last year, which recorded US$240.13 million investment pledges against 74 projects.
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Halwampa attributed the increase to President Hakainde Hichilema’s foreign trips where he had been engaging various investors.
He said Hichilema’s foreign trips were yielding results hence the need for him to travel more because his movements were a catalyst to the growth of the country.
“Our President needs to continue with his trips and they need to even reach over 1,000 for Zambia’s GDP to move to about US$100 billion from US$20 billion.
“These travels are for the good of the country because they will help unlock investment opportunities, which will create more jobs and wealth for the locals,” he said at the quarterly media briefing on Wednesday in Lusaka.
“The private sector performance condition relatively improved in the first quarter of 2023 as signalled by the quarterly average Stanbic Bank Zambia purchasing managers index of 49.6 as compared to 48.8 points recorded in the previously quarter,” Halwampa said.
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Of the US$8.6 billion investment pledges recorded in the first quarter, Halwampa said energy, manufacturing and agriculture sectors were the major contributors.
He said energy sector accounted for US$8 billion, representing 93.57 percent followed by manufacturing US$252 million, representing three percent and US$79 million in the agriculture industry representing 0.94 percentage points.
In addition, he said, 13,435 jobs were recorded from 81 investment ventures registered compared to 4,829 jobs posted from 74 investment ventures registered in the same period of 2022.
“During the period under review, ZDA continued to drive its trade and investment agenda by implementing a number of programmes that included targeted trade and investment missions as well as facilitating business development services aimed at enhancing the growth and competitiveness of businesses in key sectors of the economy,” he said.
Halwampa also said the agency undertook monitoring and evaluation of enterprises as a way of ascertaining the level of project implementation and actualised investments.
He said during the period under review, 11 investment ventures were monitored recording actualised investment of US$122.01 million and 2,765 jobs.
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