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Investments up, exports down between Zambia and Japan – Money Matters

August 19, 2012 No Comments »

Zambian exports to Japan have declined year on year, while between 2005 and 2011 the amount of investment from Japan into Zambia hit US$40 million.

The Zambian Development Agency (ZDA) reported that exports decreased from US$5.9 million in 2010 to US$4 million in 2011.

Huge investments have been received from companies such as Hitachi Construction Machinery Zambia which has alone invested US$15 million.

Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Keith Mukata said there was a need for Japanese investors to increase their presence in various sectors of the economy to contribute to the development of the country.

Mr Mukata said despite the investors contributing to the country’s growth, they stand to benefit as they will easily access the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) markets due to the country’s central location.

“For companies that decide to invest in Zambia, our central location in SADC and COMESA gives us a competitive market access to nearly 400 million people,” he said.

Meanwhile, ZDA’s acting director general Glyne Michelo said the trade imbalance between the two countries demonstrated the need for Zambia to boost its export productions and value addition.

Mr Michelo said Zambia should take advantage of the growing Japanese market and consequently reduce the trade deficit.

He said: “Exports to the Japanese market have shown slow growth and the trade balance between the two countries stands at $144.6 million hence the need to utilise the growing demand for Zambian products on that market.”

However, Zambia has continued to post positive export growth to the rest of the world where there was an export excess of US$8.6 billion against imports of US$7.1 billion in 2011..

He added that the country's excess product exports resulted in a positive trade balance of $1.4 billion.

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