VICE-President Guy Scott says Government will continue creating more jobs for Zambians by taking advantage of the favourable investment environment.
Dr Scott said it was important that jobs were created for citizens to reduce poverty levels.
The Vice-President was speaking when he officiated at the first ever Zambia International Construction Materials and Light Industries Products Trade Fair at the Lusaka East Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in Lusaka yesterday.
“In Zambia, we need more jobs for people. There is a danger or there has always been fear that the relationship between Africa and China would be one where Africa supplies raw materials and China supplies manufactured goods to Africa,” he said.
Dr Scott said if the MFEZ ended up as a mechanism for facilitating imports from China, then it would have failed in its objectives as far as the Government was concerned.
Dr Scott said the Government wanted to have manufacturing jobs in Zambia as well.
“Please take that statement as very underlining,” the Vice-President said.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda said the country recorded more than US$3.6 billion worth of investments and created more than 35,000 employment opportunities across all sectors by the end of June, this year.
He said this represented an increase of 89 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The minister said it was interesting to note that out of that, the construction and real estate sectors had contributed close to US$1 billion compared to $700 million last year.
“The increase goes to indicate the significance the Government attaches to attracting investments in the construction and real estate sector,” Mr Chenda said.
The minister said Government was determined to ensure that meaningful investment was realised in all sectors of the economy by creating a conducive platform for both domestic and foreign investors to operate.
“We shall continue to pursue and implement policies that are focused on reducing poverty among our people, which include among them development of MFEZs throughout the country,” he said.
And Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao, said Chinese bilateral trade volumes reached US3.8 billion in 2012.
He said about 500 Chinese, large and small investments, had been set up in Zambia.
The envoy said $2.6 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) had been channelled into Zambia’s economy, creating more than 50,000 job opportunities.