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Zambia, India urged to exploit latent trade opportunities


The Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) says the country needs to exploit trade opportunities available in India.

ZIPAR Executive Director, Herrick Mpuku, said in the same vein, India needs to also exploit trade opportunities available in Zambia

Mpuku said bilateral engagements would be necessary to explore these opportunities for preferential access to markets.

According to Mpuku, the opportunities were in manufacturing, agro-processing, fertilisers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), textiles and medicine among others.

He said this when he presented a paper entitled ‘Connectivity and Trade, Boosting Investment, Incubating Resilient Supply Chain’ at the Asian Security Conference in New Delhi, India where global experts in different disciplines had gathered.

Read more: Zambia’s new mineral royalty regime to reduce tax burden–ZIPAR

“In the light of the risks to global supply chains of various events, it is imperative that Indian business consider large scale investment in the Zambian economy to embed itself in the Zambian market, and avail itself of the opportunities arising from Zambia’s membership of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA),” Mpuku said.

He observed that Zambia had considerable mineral and natural resources which had not been fully exploited.

Mpuku said presently, at an output of about 700,000 tonnes of copper per year, Zambia intends to ramp up production to three million tonnes in ten year’s time.

He also said about 50 percent of the country has not explored, but there are clear indications that there are other mineral resources including gold, manganese, uranium, sugilite and emeralds and others.

“The scarcity of infrastructure also provides opportunities for investment in economic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, rail, dams and electricity generation among others,” Mpuku said.

He said these could be undertaken as business ventures in partnership with government using the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) model.

Mpuku said the Indian government could supplement this by developing critical infrastructure which supported the investments.

He cited the Chinese initiative of Belt Road as an instructive model to develop critical sectors of infrastructure.

Mpuku said the projects could be done under the framework of regional economic groupings such as SADC, COMESA and AFCTA which have their regional infrastructure programmes.

Meanwhile, Mpuku said the gross vulnerability of the Zambian economy to the changes of the international environment and natural woes made it imperative to actively seek to diversify the economy across the mining sector and beyond, as well as diversify its markets beyond Europe and China.

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