U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote says businesses need fair and transparent procurement practices and policies.
In remarks during a cocktail reception in honour of a Visiting U.S. Trade Delegation at the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka on Tuesday evening, Ambassador Foote
He said it was an honour to celebrate growing bilateral business and economic ties that exist between Zambia and the USA.
He welcomed the three US companies – Global Media, Earth Networks, and Amethyst Technologies – that are in the country seeking new markets and partners.
He explained trade delegations were a product of a partnership between the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State as they seek to help businesses build networks with potential partners in Zambia in a short period of time.
“We cannot be successful with this matchmaking without our network of private sector businesses—the foreign investors who have already created successful ventures, and most importantly Zambian businesses that are growing this economy and looking for innovative technology to grow faster and more efficiently,” he noted.
He said the American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia was the cornerstone of this network.
“And we support them and applaud their efforts to bring American ingenuity and private sector know-how to Zambia. Through the Chamber, U.S. businesses can find deep institutional knowledge of the business environment in Zambia more quickly than going it alone,” he said.
“Nothing, or no one, speaks louder to potential investors than representatives of the private sector who are currently here, working the market, making deals, and overcoming obstacles. Zambia has a lot of potential. We need your voices and guidance to continue to unlock that potential.”
Ambassador Foote also highlighted the important role that government plays in facilitating business and economic activity.
“Businesses need an enabling environment of stable and predictable economic policies that allows them to plan for short- and long-term business cycles and cost out returns on investment,” he said. “Businesses need fair and transparent procurement practices and policies.”
He indicated that he had spoken with many government ministers about the issue.
He also noted that while Zambia had been known as a welcoming and stable country, much work remained to attract large and diverse sources of foreign investment.
Ambassador Foote said his government shared the business community’s goals for Zambia-government policies and signals that allow business and entrepreneurs to flourish and develop, creating jobs and services that increase prosperity and improve quality of life for all—while making a fair profit, which is the ultimate goal of any private business.
He said the U.S. Embassy stood ready to promote U.S. investment in Zambia.