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By BUUMBA CHIMBULU                                                                     

ZAMBIA Development Agency (ZDA) has signed an agreement with Italian Confindustria Assafrica & Mediterraneo to promote business and export opportunities between the two countries.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was aimed at establishing a framework for the parties to collaborate using effective programmes towards the promotion and facilitation of business and export opportunities in Italy and Zambia.

This comes in the wake of the business foru held in March, this year for the private sector from both countries to explore trade and investment opportunities.

ZDA Director General, Mukula Makasa, said this at the signing of the MoU in Lusaka on Tuesday.

Mr Mukasa indicated that the signing of the MoU would provide a clear framework to be used in the process.

“It is my sincere hope that these meetings result in tangible and meaningful trade and investment deals for all involved and that the signing of this MoU will provide a clear framework to be used in the process,” he said.

At the same function, Zambia’s ambassador to Italy, Joseph Katema, said the MoU would focus on increasing the flow of investments, expanding trade and other business opportunities between Italy and Zambia.

“This is true because Confindustria fully represents the interests of the Italian private sector on one hand, and ZDA on the other hand, though a government agency is the foremost business support organization in Zambia.

“For this very reason, this MoU being signed today is very timely and important as it puts us on a road to deep economic ties and subsequently, economic prosperity,” Dr Katema said.

He said the only part that would make the framework of cooperation work and succeed would be the private sector.

Dr Katema said this was so because the private sectors are the nuts and bolts of any economy.

“It is therefore incumbent upon the parties to this agreement namely, ZDA and Confindustria, to sensitise their business communities about this new framework of cooperation.

“It is equally important to sensitise the business community on the existence of the Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (IPPA) for investments and the European Union Generalised Scheme of Preference (GSP) scheme for exports,” he said.

Dr Katema said deepening the bilateral commercial ties was essential to post Covid-19 economic recovery for both nations.

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