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Ambassador Chiti hails Zambia's Peace and Stability

Germany, Berlin, October 22, 2014 - Zambian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany Mr. Bwalya Chiti has chosen peace and stability as Zambia's greatest achievement since independence, according to a Germany magazine.  The Ambassador said Zambia stands out among other countries on the African continent as having experienced a stable and peaceful socio-political environment

"The country offers a unique example of unity in diversity, binding together 72 ethnic groups in one nation, and this did not come about by sheer luck, but through concerted efforts of earlier leaders who steered the country to its independence," Mr. Chiti told the bi-monthly magazine.

The Ambassador said this in a two-page exclusive interview headlined "50 years of Independent Zambia: This country is the envy of Africa" published in the October/November 2014 edition of Germany's African Courier Magazine.

Mr. Chiti said Zambia's successful transition from one-party state to a multiparty democracy has also played an important role in its recent peaceful evolution.

"General elections are held regularly and accepted in principle as the means of filling leadership positions. In this regard, Zambia has successfully elected five presidents and has experienced handovers of presidential power but also changes of the governing parties," Chiti told the African courier magazine.

He appreciated the World Bank's recognition of Zambia as one of the fastest economically reformed countries.

"The government, through the central bank, has created a favourable macroeconomic environment that has led to a downward trend in the cost of borrowing and an improved access to long-term finance," the magazine quoted Mr. Chiti.

Mr. Chiti said Zambia currently holds a B+ credit rating, according to the international rating agencies Fitch and S&P, which strengthens the country's standing as an investment destination.

"The Zambian government has already taken advantage of this and issued a US$750 billion Eurobond in 2012 and US$1 billion Eurobond in 2014, both of which were oversubscribed," he told the magazine. "In 2012, Zambia registered investment pledges of around US$10.1 billion and this clearly shows the attractiveness of Zambia as an investment destination for international companies."

Mr. Chiti also highlighted Zambia's numerous investment opportunities and urged more German business persons to invest in Zambia.

"Backed by strong macroeconomic fundamentals, Zambia offers attractive trade and investment opportunities, especially in mining, infrastructure, energy, tourism and agriculture," Chiti told the magazine.

Mr. Chiti said the Zambian government actively seeks foreign investment in all sectors, offering a wide range of incentives.

"Legal requirements for doing business in the country have been reduced to an absolute minimum and time-wasting procedures that may confront foreign investors elsewhere are being eliminated in Zambia."

He however, noted that the German private sector is now awakened to the opportunities and are showing increasing interest in Zambia.

"Most recently in May 2014, German business delegations regularly visited Zambia, and among the recent investors in my country is Amatheon Agri Holding Company which prides itself as the first major German Agro-business investor in Zambia," Mr. Chiti told the German Magazine.

He explained that in an effort to strengthen the still very modest economic relations between the two countries, the German-Zambian Business Information Linkage Desk was established at the Zambia Development Agency in 2011.

"This department provides information on business opportunities in Germany and Zambia for German and Zambian companies and facilitates trade between the two countries," the magazine quoted Chiti.

Mr. Chiti noted that even though the direct trade and business relationship between the two countries has greatly improved over the years, there was still room for improvement.

About 55,000 copies of the issue with a 4-page Special Report on the occasion of the Zambia's 5oth Independence Anniversary has been printed and distributed through paid subscription and/at press shops in train stations and airports; with 5,000 copies placed as free reading copies aboard the Africa flights of the German Lufthansa Airlines.

Additionally, copies have also been distributed free of charge to senior figures in the government departments, diplomats, media, businesses, trade organizations, development agencies, NGOs and educational institutions in Germany.

The African Courier is an international bi-monthly news and cultural magazine published in Germany.
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