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  Home > Sino-African Relations > Economic and Trade Cooperation
Zambia-China trade zone marks the fifth anniversary of founding
2012/02/21

Updated: 2012-02-21 08:04

By Song Ping and Zhang Zhao (China Daily)

Zambia-China trade zone marks the fifth anniversary of founding

Entrance to the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone developed by China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co Ltd. Provided to China Daily

BEIJING - Since its inception five years ago, the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone has attracted 17 companies and a total investment of nearly $1 billion.

Its resident companies have generated nearly $500 million in taxes and sales revenues of $4.35 billion, officials said during a ceremony on Feb 3 in Beijing to mark the zone's fifth anniversary.

Founded by China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co Ltd (CNMC), the zone is another milestone in ties between the two countries following the Tazara Railway built by China 40 years ago to link Zambia with Tanzania, said China's Vice-Foreign Minister Zhai Jun.

Some 360 kilometers north of the Zambian capital Lusaka, it is the country's first multi-purpose economic zone and China's first business cooperation area in Africa.

The two industrial parks in the zone have different functions to meet varied demands.

Its 11.58-sq-km Chambishi Park serves a copper mine of the same name. Its major industries include metal processing and related services.

Lusaka Park, which covers 5.7 sq km with an airport nearby, is focused on trading, logistics and real estate.

The zone's developer CNMC started business in Zambia in 1998 and is now the largest Chinese investor in the nation.

It has nine companies in the country whose combined investment now exceeds $2 billion. The operations have created more than 12,500 local jobs.

Luo Tao, CNMC general manager, said the cooperation zone is the best symbol of the "all-weather friendship" between China and Zambia.

"Building economic cooperation zones overseas was a brand new attempt and also a systematic project," said Luo. "The zone had a good start, but we still have a long way ahead of us."

The zone's development model emphasizes energy conservation and eco-friendliness using technologies developed by leading Chinese universities. Resource losses at the copper mine have been greatly reduced, while the smelting cost is about 30 percent lower than other local companies.

CNMC is one of the earliest Chinese companies in the nonferrous metals industry to adopt a "go-abroad" policy, and one of the most successful.

It has business in more than 30 countries around the world including the United Kingdom, Australia and Africa.

At the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao said China would build three to five economic zones in Africa over three years. Zambia became the first country to benefit from the program.

China is one of the most important investors in Zambia with total investments of more than $3 billion.

China Daily

(China Daily 02/21/2012 page15)

 

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