* INVESTMENT-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT
Zambia is consistently undertaking various measures to improve its business environment. The ambitious Private Sector Reform Development Programme (PSRDP) is bent on further streaminglining business licencing processes and improving other administrative processes related to business establishment. The creation of the Zambia Development Authority (ZDA) in 2007 centralised and rationalised investment facilitation and promotion and through the ZDA, a generous incentive scheme for investors is also made available and aftercare services provided. Furthermore, the development of multi-facility economic zones provides incentives with more secure andv well-equipped environment to operate. Finally, reforms are continuing in the area for automated regulation, permits and visa processing, registration of land, and customs clearing. The labour laws are also currently under review.
Zambia shares borders with eight countries in the South-eastern subregion. A member of the South African Development Community Free Trade Area (SADC-FTA), Zambia expands its market’s reach to the more that 170 million people comprising the FTA with a regional market worth $360 billions. In addition, as a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African States (COMESA), investors have ready access to the largest regional economic grouping in Africa with 19 members comprising over 400 million people. The expected establishment of a single FTA comprising of 26 countries of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and SADC by 2012 will result in an even larger market that will be attractive to investment and conducive to large-scale production.
Regional infrastructure cooperation project, such as the most recent North-South Corridor Project, which links the port of Dar es Salaam (United Republic of Tanzania) to the Copperbelt (Zambia) and through to the southern port of South Africa strategically positions Zambia as a land-linked transit hub to its neighbouring countries. Improvements in road and rail travel along this corridor will also help ensure a more fluid movement of goods and people within the subregion.
*RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES
With a total mineral resource of at least two billion tons in the Copperbelt region alone, the mining sector offers real potential for growth and further expansion. Aside from copper and cobalt, Zambia also boasts of precious stones such as emeralds, amethst, and aquamerine, among other. Zambia has 752,000 square kilometres of landmass, 58 per cent of which is arable. New farming blocks have recently been made available for use by both local and international investors for cultivation and agro-business purposes. A number of horticultural and floricultural crops, with export markets in Europe and South Africa are being promoted for expansion. There are opportunities to engage in agro-processing and move up the value chain and investiments through joint ventures. Zambia’s tourism potential lies in its vast natural resources, most of which are pristine and unexploited and cater to a diverse and broad range of interest, including varied sceneries, wilderness and wildlife, adventure activities, diverse culture and national heritage. Aside from the world famous Victoria Falls, a UNESCO world heritage site, Zambia boasts many other attractions, including 19 national parks and 34 game management areas covering over 22.4 million hectares. Zambia’s wildlife estate is one of the largest in the subregion, with wildlife protection areas occupying about 40 per cent of the country’s land surface area. There is scope for development of private wildlife estates given the availability of land in communal areas.