ZAMBEEF CHIEF CHAMPIONS INVESTMENT IN ZAMBIA
Agribusiness business leader holds up Zambia as a role model for Africa
Zambeef Products Plc Chief Executive Officer Francis Grogan has set out a compelling case for why Zambia should be the first choice for companies looking to invest in new markets.
The award-winning business leader told delegates at a high-level Irish government forum recently that Zambia had a rare combination of both demand and supply-side attributes that made it one of the best places in the world to do business.
Mr Grogan was addressing some 300 delegates at the three-day 2013 Africa Ireland Economic Forum (AIEF) in Dublin, which was attended by the Irish Deputy Prime Minster Eamon Gilmore and Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello.
“Zambia is a role model for Africa,” said Mr Grogan, who was last month awarded the prestigious All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) as Southern Arica Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. “The country’s business-friendly approach has enabled a thriving environment for both home-grown companies such as Zambeef, and new investors coming in.”
On the market demand side, Zambia’s growing population, rising incomes and overall economic advance make it a “go-to” destination of choice for multinational investors, particularly in the agribusiness and food-processing sectors, he explained.
Likening Zambia to the “mini-Brazil” of Africa, the Zambeef CEO pointed to the 7.8 percent GDP growth forecast for 2014 making the country inherently attractive as a market.
And market growth prospects also extended beyond Zambia’s borders to the eight surrounding countries of Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Zambia’s strategic land-linked location made it a natural springboard for exports into those neighbouring countries, which also have fast growing populations and economies, he said.
The attractive business opportunities in terms of market demand are just one side of the investment equation, however, and Mr Grogan also emphasised Zambia’s conducive investment climate in terms of support for investment by both local companies and overseas investors.
Highlighting the Zambian government’s macro-economic policies, he explained how the resultant robust economic growth and stability were keys to successful business.
He emphasised Zambia’s attractive investor-friendly policies, stable political environment and positive approach to business facilitation, and told delegates that Zambia was indeed “open for business”.
Aside from the good regulatory climate and booming economy, investors also had opportunities to tap into Zambia’s vast natural resources of abundant, fertile soils, excellent growing climate, and abundant fresh water resources.
And he concluded by urging delegates to visit Zambia to explore the possibilities for themselves.
The objective of the Africa Ireland Economic Forum, which was attended by African delegates and key Irish government officials, is to provide an opportunity for Irish business to connect with African partners to explore opportunities for increased trade and investment.
The third Africa Ireland Economic Forum was organised by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with the African Diplomatic Corps and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin, and themed “Building Partnerships”.
In addition to Mr Grogan, other distinguished speakers addressing a special session on agribusiness were Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney, Ethiopian Minister for Agriculture Tefera Derbew, Ethiopia, Good African Coffee founder Andrew Rugasira.