Zambia trade zone gets $800m funding

Updated: 2015-04-01 09:48

By DU JUAN(China Daily)

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Companies from the Chinese mainland have made a commitment to accelerate investment in Zambia under agreements valued at $800 million.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu witnessed the signing of the deals on Tuesday between the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, developed by China Nonferrous Metal Mining Corp, and 11 companies. The event took place during a bilateral economic, trade and tourism forum in Beijing.

The companies will develop projects covering infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, logistics and alternative energy in Zambia.

Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd, the long-term partner of CNMC, signed agreements with CNMC Developing Investment Co Ltd, West China Cement Ltd and China XD Group Corp for three separate projects involving cement plants, oil refining and copper cables.

"Zambia hopes to attract more Chinese investors and tourists to improve economic development," said Lungu, adding that his government will provide "strong support" to Chinese companies.

At present, China mainly invests in infrastructure construction and mining in Zambia.

On Monday, President Xi Jinping met with Lungu, who came to China for a state visit and the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia.

Luo Tao, general manager of CNMC, said that the company has invested $2.6 billion in Zambia and created up to 14,000 stable jobs. One of the company's projects is the Chambishi copper mine and smelter, China's largest overseas nonferrous metal mine.

The zone is China's first economic and trade cooperation zone in Africa, and it is seen as an example of how Chinese companies "go global" in groups.

Zan Baosen, general manager of the zone, said that Zambia offers many incentives to Chinese companies. "We are eager to cooperate with Chinese entrepreneurs to explore the market potential in Zambia," he said.

There will be several industrial parks in the zone specifically for the pharmaceutical, construction materials, agriculture and logistics sectors, according to Zan. "The pharmaceutical park will be operating by the end of this year," he said.

The zone has attracted investment of $1.4 billion so far, with 48 companies established there.

CNMC was among the first wave of Chinese companies to go overseas. It now operates in more than 80 countries and regions.

In 2014, the company had revenue of 202.1 billion yuan ($32.58 billion).