Thank you ZRA – Mukwita
…..for being a partner in economic diplomacy
Berlin, October 14, 2018
Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany His Excellency Anthony Mukwita has commended the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) for their swift and prompt response to matters related to foreign direct investment or FDI. Ambassador Mukwita said ZRA recently resolved in record time, a matter in which a German businessman owner of Chikunto Lodge Jens Kant sought clarity on specialised vehicles he imported for use in his investment.
“When we brought the investor’s concerns to the attention of ZRA Commissioner General Mr. Kingsley Chanda, a solution was found within hours which to us demonstrates that ZRA wants to resolve rather than grow problems, “Ambassador Mukwita noted.
Mr. Mukwita who also thanked the German investor for being ‘flexible’ said it was gratifying to note that ZRA recognized the role of embassies in facilitating investment and the need for a swift resolution of various concerns.
“We would like other government institutions to emulate ZRA in realizing that embassies play a gatekeeper role in business hence the need to treat seriously and urgently matters brought to their attention”, Ambassador Mukwita advised.
The senior diplomat said the work of ZRA has been exemplary under the leadership of Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda as the institution continues beating its collection targets. These collections, Ambassador Mukwita said enable government to run every aspect of its social delivery system.
“Government employs Doctors and nurses because ZRA collected taxes; we go to bed and work up safe because ZRA collected and so the police, soldiers and other security officers got paid and did their jobs; our children go to school and learn because ZRA collected so the teachers got paid; in foreign missions, we are able to facilitate investment because ZRA responds when we call”, the Zambian envoy said.
When President Edgar Lungu came into office, Zambia’s diplomacy took an economic emphasis shifting the paradigm from politics that had dominated the country’s foreign relations since independence in 1964. Consequently, the bulk of activities preoccupying embassies is trade and investment.
The embassy in Berlin has seen a steady increase in the flow of investment and investment enquiries in sectors such as agriculture, energy and tourism. In the agricultural sector, Amatheon, a German company has pumped in about 80 million dollars in the Mumbwa area while the German development bank KFW is currently rolling out a hundred million dollar solar power initiative, which will add a 100megawatt of energy to the national grid.
This is against the backdrop of about 1 billion dollars worth of development assistance from the German government since Zambia became an independent nation.
“All these activities come with responsibilities on our part as an embassy and various ministries, entities and individuals back home in Zambia”, Ambassador Mukwita observed, adding, “swift and prompt responses to concerns raised by our partners is key to the success of President Lungu’s visionary leadership especially economic diplomacy”.
The Zambian envoy added that the constant enquiries for investment opportunities including actualised FDI is testimony that Zambia is a favored destination for investment.