“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
As you know Zambia has also been voted as one of the most peaceful countries and that is a natural attraction to investment. Zambia is a very peaceful haven for investment. More Indians have shown interest in establishing specialist hospitals, infrastructure development, for example roads, railways, metros, air services and setting up of satellites for economic use. These have been, of course, verbally and economically expressed through the Mission here. Quite a number of possible would-be investors have travelled to engage with the Government and indeed the private sector. This is also because of the aggressive marketing by the Mission to position Zambia as a destination of tourism and trade. Tourism figures have tripled while trade figures have quadrupled. We are, you know, on the double as a Mission in terms of ensuring that we advertise our country in all aspects. And this goes to show why the numbers have sky-rocketed.
The Mission has also engaged other ASEAN countries. The Mission was in Singapore to also encourage tourists and investors to look to Zambia—especially that they do not require a visa to enter Zambia. The mission also visited Nepal for a Zambian Tourism and Trade Mission working with the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) at which investors were given information on investing in Zambia. Zambian High Commission in India feather-launched the Lusaka-Goa Tourism and Trade Mission in collaboration with Business Networking India (BNI) which saw 23 potential investors from Goa visit Zambia in March 2018. A reciprocal visit by Central Province Minister Hon. Sydney Mushanga was also conducted who visited Goa. Goa has two major investors—Mr Narayan Bandekar who has built state of the art pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic Zone and Mr Pankaj Jain who has set up a manganese processing plant in Kanona district of Central Province. And to this effect I want to underscore the fact that he started with merely mining of manganese to bring it into India, but he has now decided to move his family and has actually set up a refinery. So he is actually bringing into India refined manganese. In Hyderabad, Zambia High Commission convinced Prasad Seeds Company to invest in Zambia. Prasad Seeds provides 70 per cent of India’s seed requirements and it has since completed formalities of registering the company in Zambia. And anytime soon they’d be making a third visit to Zambia trying to create further linkages and exchanges. It should be noted that Indian companies at present constitute a huge proportion of Zambia’s FDI estimated to be in excess of USD 4 billion. This is in respect of investments such as Konkola copper mines, subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Group, the parent company trading as Sterlite Industries in India. Vedanta is also registered in U.K. and is Indian-owned. Their combined investment in Konkola deep water copper mining project, sulphuric acid plant, and a new smelter is around USD 2.2 billion. R J Corporation and Varun Beverages invested in the Pepsi plant and are planning for further expansion.