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New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) India will help Zambia in infrastructure development in sectors such as energy, mining and agriculture, said Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath here Wednesday.


Kamal Nath held bilateral meeting with Felix C. Mutati, Zambian Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, and offered help including investments to boost up economic growth of the African nation.

He also lauded the Zambia Development Agency for Indian Companies (ZDAIC), which aims at setting up manufacturing and services industries in South African nation.

“India has lot to offer for infrastructure development in Zambia, particularly in energy, mining, agriculture, commercial building and road transportation sectors,” an official press communiqué quoted Kamal Nath as saying during his meeting with Mutati.

He said India was also keen to “explore and invest in the development of industries-based crops such as cotton, sugar, soya bean and groundnuts” in Zambia, where Indian investment currently stands at $2 billion.

“Both sides agreed for cooperation for capacity building in the field of agro-processing and development of agro product markets,” said the statement.

India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIIP) secretary Ajai Shankar, and representatives from industry chambers like Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) too attended the meeting.

India-Zambia bilateral goods trade saw a growth of 6.43 during 2006-08. The total bilateral trade in 2007-08 was $206.96 million.

India exports items such as machinery, instruments, drugs, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, electronic goods, and transport equipment to Zambia, and imports metafiles ores and metal scrap, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, non-ferrous metals and leather from that nation.

Zambia also signed an agreement with India’s Small and Medium Enterprises Business Development Chamber for investment in sectors like agro-processing, light engineering, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Zambia’s economy has been traditionally dominated by copper mining industry, though the government has recently been pursuing an economic diversification programme.

In the 1970s, the country began sliding into a poverty from which Zambia has not yet been able to recover; today it has a per capita income of $395.