LUSAKA — The level of investment and trade that has existed between Zambia and China over the years was enough evidence to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries, a senior Zambian government official has said.
Chipoka Mulenga, minister of Commerce and Trade, said the investment and trade statistics between the two countries demonstrate the importance of further strengthening the cooperation and reaffirmed the new government’s commitment to enhancing international cooperation and foreign relations for a better-shared future.
In his remarks delivered via a video recording to the China-Africa Investment Promotion Conference, the Zambian minister said the government expects to see increased Chinese investments after the conference, which was held Sunday as part of the Second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo being held from Sept. 26 to 29 in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province.
China has remained Zambia’s largest single investor with more than 600 firms operating in the southern African country with a combined investment of 3.8 billion U.S. dollars while trade totaled 2.4 billion dollars in 2020, he said.
According to him, Zambia’s vision of becoming a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030 will only materialize with the support of countries like China, adding that the government was committed to creating a conducive environment for more Chinese investment.
He said Chinese enterprises have made substantial contributions to the country’s infrastructure and economic development, and the establishment of the Jiangxi Multi-Facility Economic Zone currently under construction has opened up a wide space for economic and trade cooperation.
“It is from this zone where we are very hopeful as the new government that further cooperation will develop into partnerships between Zambian enterprises and Chinese enterprises,” he added.
The government, he said, was hopeful that the partnership between Zambian and Chinese enterprises will result in the transfer of skills and the addition of value to the country’s raw materials.
He has further invited business delegations from China to visit the country and explore investment opportunities in various sectors of the economy.