Northern Province Minister Brian Mundubile says the provincial administration is expected to attract investment pledges amounting to US$2 billion from the upcoming Tourism and Investment Expo in the Province.

And Mundubile says activities to showcase the country’s potential investment opportunities will continue beyond the Northern Province Expo, which is scheduled to take place from November 20-24, 2018, under the theme: “unlocking investment opportunities, 100 years after the end of the First World War.”

Speaking when he featured on Diamond TV’s Costa show, Sunday evening, Mundubile also said that the province had been speaking to local firms about investing in various sectors of the province, as one way of promoting local investment.

“There are quite a number of companies that are coming to the Expo, but, of course, they are in categories. We have got companies that are coming as exhibitors, those are in excess of 100 and they are coming to showcase what they have. Then, there are also companies that are coming as investors; those are just coming to look at the potential areas for investment going forward. What is very important is that, when you look at an Expo, what is good to note is that, the moment you pronounce that you are going to host an Expo and you set the date, you already begin to market those areas. So, for the past six months that we’ve been marketing the tourism and investment Expo, we’ve been receiving a number of visitors in form of investors and companies coming to the Province,” Mundubile narrated.

“I think in our projection, we are going to be very happy to have landed investment pledges in the region of $2 billion. But as today, we are at $4.5 billion in terms of investment pledges. So, as Northern Province, we feel that this is a success already, even before we start. So, it’s been a very good journey, in that we just didn’t wait for the investors to come, but we also go out to speak at different platforms. My Permanent Secretary has been to America, he’s been to Durban (South Africa) to speak on various platforms. I have been to South Africa myself; I have been China a few times, even on the local scene. So, through these discussions, we’ve been talking about the potential that lies in Northern Province. I have been able to tell our would-be investors that there is no place like Northern Province.”

He added that the provincial administration had been encouraging local firms to take advantage of the Expo, which kicks-off next Tuesday, and look put for possible investment opportunities.

“We want to promote local investment as much as possible, and we have actually gone out. We are having meetings with Chambers of Commerce; we already have had meetings with the Kitwe and Ndola Chambers of Commerce, and just the other day, we had a meeting with Lusaka Chamber of Commerce. We are moving on into Northern Province and many other areas. Because we also want to understand specifically what issues investors want government to address before coming up with these investments. And we are getting some very interesting and intelligent ideas from these organisations,” he explained.

And he said added that forums to showcase the country’s potential investment opportunities would continue even after the Northern Province Expo.

“As provinces, we have taken it upon ourselves, first of all, to promote tourism in our respective provinces. But then we will have this initiative that links Eastern, Muchinga, Northern and Luapula for tourism and we’ve got the southern block also. So, in the end, the entire country will be connected for tourism. But first, we have gone just as provinces; so, Northern Province is promoting the tourism potential in Northern Province; Luapula has done the same; Eastern has done the same and Muchinga will soon be doing be the same. Then, we will soon begin to link. So, for the future expos, there will be specific expos that maybe will look at some regional tourism expositions that will include all the four provinces going forward. So, besides holding expos as individual provinces, we have agreed as provincial ministers that in future, depending on what we want to promote, we will look at linkages and how best we can market the tourism in these areas together, going forward,” said Mundubile.