On Saturday (June 30), the manufacturing wealth of Zambia and her major trading partners went on show at the annual trade fair, at Ndola.
On Saturday (June 30), the manufacturing wealth of Zambia and her major trading partners went on show at the annual trade fair, at Ndola. Exhibits worth thousand of pounds, from Africa, Asia and Europe, were on display during the four-day fair.
A special guest on opening day was President Kenneth Kaunda, who officiated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and then toured the various national and trade pavilions. The main aim of the fair is to illustrate advancing patterns of trade in Zambia and neighbouring countries.
As well, it is designed to provide an exchange with overseas trading partners. It is organised to supplement the work of trade missions, which make regular visits to established and potential overseas customers.
The development of Zambia's trade has become an important phase of President Kaunda's programme, especially since the dispute with Rhodesia resulted in Zambia closing off its southern border. In order to maintain the blockade, Zambia had to develop new systems of road, rail, air and sea transport for imports and exports. A United Nations report estimated that it will cost Zambia almost GBP 100 million (250 million dollars) this year and more than GBP 20 million (50 million dollars) annually in the future.
SYNOPSIS: The fair was held in the town of Ndola, the third largest in Zambia and part of the country's intensive development belt. president Kaunda was there to officially open the fair -- and with that completed he toured the fair ground.
Trade is high on the President's development programme, begun after independence in October, 1964. Zambia's economy is based very largely on copper, although manufacturing industries are expanding.
President Kaunda has urged greater expansion since the dispute with Rhodesia resulted in closure of Zambia's southern border. This meant new road, rail, air and sea transport routed had to be found -- at a continuing cost amounting to tens of millions of pounds.
Zambia's Government uses overseas trade missions extensively to promote her products. On the other hand, the fair provides a showcase for both customers and buyers -- like West Germany.
"Made In Zambia" tickets are becoming more common -- with increased Government participation in industry. An example is the motor industry, where Zambia and Italy have co-operated in a major car assembly plant. The plant will supply most of the country's new car needs, and effectively curtail activities of overseas competitors.
Zambia has ben described as a country "very rich, and very vulnerable". Observers say, however, many of the problems are receding, despite the dependence on copper and uncertainty in the agricultural sector.