By Derrick Silimina
The Zambia Trade Mission to Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), led by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) is expected to promote business interactions between the two countries which are on the rise.
In a statement, ZDA Head Communications and Public Relations Kwali Mfuni said the trade mission was jointly officially opened yesterday by the Minister of Economy and Trade for Katanga Province Celine Munanga Kanyeba and Zambia’s Acting Permanent Secretary-Investments and Industrialisation, Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry Nalituba Mwale.
Officiating at the event, Kanyeba expressed happiness at the undertaking by ZDA in collaboration with Federation des Entreprises du Congo, a local business affiliation association with support from ABSA Bank Zambia limited, for bringing Zambian and Congolese businesses together.
She observed that this would promote business interactions between the two countries which are on the rise.
The Minister shared that the price of food in DRC far outweighed the price of minerals, a clear indication of the high demand for essential commodities and Non-Traditional Exports into Congo.
And Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry acting PS who spoke on behalf of the Zambian Government said the Trade mission had been designed to be a platform for business engagements, networking and collaboration.
“I am pleased to note that these continued trade missions are as a result of strong ties dating back from the time of our independence and will continue to enable our business communities to tap into the available trade opportunities in the two countries.” Mwale said.
She further highlighted that the Government of Zambia had recently signed a $76million concession agreement for the development of 61 km Ndola-Sakania-Mufulira road and Sakania Border infrastructure.
Mrs Mwale observed that once completed the road and border infrastructure will lead to increased trade between the two countries. She urged the two countries to consider implementing a non-stop-border which will promote the smooth movement of goods between the two countries.
Earlier Jessica Chombo, who spoke on behalf of ZDA Director General Albert Halwampa, thanked the Congolese Government for the hospitality and facilitation extended to the Zambian Trade Mission to Congo.
The Zambian Consular General Felix Siame who also graced the event reiterated the friendship and cooperation between the countries.
Over 30 companies are participating in the Trade Mission out of 42 who registered. The participating Zambian companies have been paired to meet with 70 Congolese companies. The sectors represented among the participating Zambian companies are agriculture, printing, construction, logistics and pharmaceutical while in Congo the companies will also participate in B2B engagements. This essentially involves matching Zambian companies with Congolese companies of similar interests.