BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

ZAMBIA has so far signed 15 Bilateral Investment Treaties with other countries meant to encourage investment in the country, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, Kayula Siame has said.

Ms Siame said six out of the 15 treaties were currently in force.

She said this development re-affirmed Zambia’s commitment to implement prudent policies on investment.

This, she said, assured confidence to foreign investors on Zambia’s investment environment.

Ms Siame was speaking at the weekend during the breakfast with CIARB women in Lusaka.

“The aim of the treaties is to attract investment into Zambia by  liberalising, promoting and protecting foreign investment; creating a transparent and predictable investment environment;

“Others are removal of any discrimination between foreign and domestic investors and their investments; and ensure access to effective dispute settlement,” Ms Siame said.

Ms Siame said the treaties would not apply to matters on taxation, which was a complex subject matter.

However, she said, double taxation matters would be covered in the Avoidance of Double Taxation Treaties between the parties to the Agreement.

“Where contentious articles arise and the two Parties fail to agree, it is important that Zambia does not sign to avoid disputes in future.

“Zambia has signed 15 Bilateral Investment Treaties with other countries since 1966 and just 6 of them are in force. More effort is being put in place to initiate proposals with top priority countries Zambia wish to sign the agreement with,” she said.

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