“Our High Commission has been able to maximize economic diplomacy between Zambia and India”
In this interview held at the High Commission of the Republic of Zambia in New Delhi, H.E. Mrs Judith K.K. Kan’goma-Kapijimpanga, High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia to India, focuses on the deep and abiding relations between India and Zambia. She throws considerable light on the waves of Indian investors who are now making Zambia their second home. She spoke to Sayantan Chakravarty, Editor and Publisher, India Empire Magazine
H.E. Mrs Judith K.K. Kan’goma-Kapijimpanga,
High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia to India
You’ve completed about two years in India. Would it be fair to say that your tenure has witnessed a new high in Indo-Zambian relations?
Yes, indeed to a great extent it has. As you know Zambia and India enjoy warm and cordial relations based on the foundation of mutual trust and respect. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1964. The relations, however, can be traced back to the pre-independence days. Zambia and India interact actively on several issues under the auspices of several initiatives which are aimed at enhancing relations between India and Africa, and Zambia and India in particular. Indo-African Forum Summit is one such platform which committed over USD 5 billion for projects in Africa with a duty-free trade regime for exports to India. We have been building upon the India Technical and Economic
Cooperation. As of 2017, we have seen an increase of trade volume from USD 650 million in 2016 to USD 950 million as of October 2017. We foresee trade volume at over USD 1 billion by the end of the year 2018. We are very optimistic, and business has skyrocketed. This has mostly been due to the injection of money in the Zambian economy through the EXIM Bank-funded projects and the other Indian companies that are using private capital. We’ve quite a number of isolated private sector cases where business investors have gone on their own accord to Zambia to invest. And the increase is also due to the rise in copper prices for which India is one of the major importers. Indians are also especially interested in dealing with manganese importation, apart from copper. Indian investment in Zambia is on the rise. And coupled with trade interaction, the Zambian High Commission in India estimates the amount of additional investment to increase to USD 8.5 billion by 2019-2020. That would amount to an estimated amount of USD 12.8 billion. Current investment is estimated to be around USD 4 billion. And this has been due to Zambia’s competitive advantage as one of the best investment destinations in the world.