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Posted on Feb 13, 10:06AM | UNI
Kolkata, Feb 12 : As the bilateral trade between India and Central African nation Zambia is set to reach the one billion USD by next year, more than 25,000 Indian tourists have visited that country during the past 12 months.
This was stated here today by Acting High Commissioner of Zambia Bawlya Lyapa Nondo while participating in an interactive session to promote his country as Africa's the 'most attractive tourist destination'.
The interactive session was organised under the aegis of Merchants' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Elaborating the huge scope of attracing tourists and film makers from across the globe to Zambia for visiting the world's greatest natural wonder 'Victoria Falls' near the Southern city of 'Livingstone' along with a large variety of wild life, flora and fauna in several other parts of the country, Mr Nondo, flanked by Director of Zambian Tourism Wanthon Zunga Kafei, claimed that unlike most of the neighbouring countries like Nigeria, Burkina Fasso and Congo, his country had been enjoying an 'absolute peace and political stability for many years now'.
"As a result our economy is thriving with the annual GDP growth touching the 6.5 per cent mark during last fiscal," the Zambian envoy said and explained the huge scope of investment by indian entrepreneurs in several core sectors like mining, steel, coal and energy.
Currently the total investment of 30 odd Indian corporates in Zambia was over three billion USD and all of them had been making huge profits, claimed Mr Nondo and urged more and more Indian companies to invest in Tourism, Hospitality and Healthcare sectors in Zambia.
Underlining the huge scope of shooting Indian/Bollywood films in different parts of Zambia taking advantage of its impecable scenic beauty and large wildlife population, the acting High Commissioner said unlike many European countries, Zambia offered zero tax facility for shooting of foreign movies, thereby reducing the promotional costs to a great extent for every producer.
On whether he was also planning to visit Bengali Film Production houses in the city during his three-day visit, Mr Nondo replied in the positive. "We are also in touch with a number of film makers in Mumbai and Chennai,offering similar facilities," he said.
"On the basis of all these developments we are confident that during the next financial year,the volume of bilateral trade between Zambia and India would cross the one billion USD mark from around 600 million USD now," he said replying to a query.
Mr Nondo has been leading a ten-member high power Zambian delegation, comprising members from the country's Tourism Board and other sectors during his third visit to the city in two years.
Earlier, the Zambian delegation was welcomed to the Chamber by MCCI past president and noted industrialist Sudesh Santhalia.