Johannesburg - Zambia is a model country for investment, with a regulatory regime
most attractive to South African companies, President Jacob Zuma
said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the launch of the Nakambala sugar expansion project at
Mazabuka, Zambia, Zuma said economic cooperation between South
Africa and Zambia went back many years and had improved
substantially in recent years.
Zambia was now South Africa's number one trading partner on the
continent, surpassing countries which traditionally used to attract
huge investments from South Africa.
Initially, these investments were largely concentrated in the
so-called old economy of mining, retail and related industries.
However, that pattern had shifted, because investments in the "new
economy" sectors, such as financial services, information
communication technology (ICT), agribusiness and leisure had
"Your country has been able to attract these investments, thanks to
its conducive regulatory framework and legislative environment,"
"Zambia is a model country for investment and we believe that your
regulatory regime has been most attractive to South African
companies such as Illovo Sugar"
Zuma said he was honoured to commission Zambia's biggest
agricultural project - the sugar plantation at Mazabuka -
highlighting the R1.7bn investment by South African
When Illovo Sugar acquired Zambia Sugar in 2001, the company was
producing about 200 000 tonnes of sugar. In less than a decade that
output had doubled.
This was a great achievement - Zambia was not only a copper-producing country, but had also become a sugar producer of note.
"We have a duty to ensure that the economic relations between our
two countries remain vibrant and growing," Zuma said.
"We believe that the various memoranda of understanding which were
signed yesterday and the business interactions during the two-day
business seminar will help us to achieve this objective.
"It is through these economic activities that the socio-economic
challenges of poverty and unemployment can be addressed," he said.