Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote at the Single Company Promotion of Abbott Laboratories

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote
Single Company Promotion of Abbott Laboratories
U.S. Embassy, Lusaka, Zambia
July 11, 2019

 (as prepared for delivery)

Good evening.  I would like to acknowledge the Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, Honorable Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Mr. Christopher Yaluma, other Zambian government officials, other members of the diplomatic corps, senior management of Abbott, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen; all other protocols observed.

Welcome to the U.S. Embassy and thank you for joining me in welcoming our U.S. firm Abbott Laboratories.  I am excited to host such a reputable U.S. company doing great work in Zambia that is focused on things that matter to our governments, and more importantly, to our citizens.

Before I go too far, let me point out and acknowledge the Abbott officials here tonight.  Would you please raise your hands?  These are the folks with whom we are here to conduct business.

The relatively recent entrance of Abbott into the Zambian market is another productive outcome of the strong bilateral relations that exists between Zambia and the United States and bodes well for the potential of increased trade and investment between our two countries.

We believe U.S. technology is the strength of the American economy and our companies deliver exceptional value for money.  Abbott’s innovations in HIV, hepatitis, malaria, and “point-of-care” testing are accelerating Zambia’s rapid approach to meeting its health goals.

Abbott’s flagship product in Zambia has been the “Determine HIV-1/2” rapid test which was used to screen Zambians citizens in Ministry of Health and private health facilities as well as community testing sites.

By bringing point of care solutions to the most decentralized healthcare settings, citizens of Zambia have unprecedented access to testing, management, treatment and care, thereby providing healthcare professionals with the tools they need to reach HIV epidemic control by 2020, saving even more lives.

I would like to congratulate Abbott Laboratories and the government of Zambia for the successful validation of the Molecular Diagnostics (M2000) machine by University Teaching Hospital Virology Department.  This development will help the country continue to rapidly scale-up viral load testing so that people living with HIV are able to live long and healthy lives without spreading the virus to those they love.

Not only will these products provide the much needed help in the fight against HIV, but with an annual sales of over $12 million, it will also provide over 20 direct and indirect jobs for Zambian workers.

I want to thank you for this opportunity and assure you that the U.S. Embassy stands ready to assist in any way possible to promote U.S. business in Zambia.  Please take time to meet with the Abbott officials who live in and are visiting Zambia.  Thank you and enjoy the rest of the event.