CHIMANGENI BANDA, Chengdu, China
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has challenged Zambian missions abroad to justify their existence and operation in foreign lands.
Mrs Wina said missions abroad are supposed to facilitate Zambia’s socio-economic development by wooing foreign direct investments.
She regretted that some missions are not doing enough to contribute to Zambia’s development.
Mrs Wina said this when she commended Zambia’s Ambassador to China Winnie Chibesakunda and her staff for facilitating the numerous infrastructure development projects in various sectors of the country’s economy.
“Ambassador, you’re doing a good job, as a country, we are focusing on economic diplomacy and these are the things we want to see come out of the implementation of the policy,” Mrs Wina said.
She said Government is spending colossal sums of taxpayers’ money to maintain missions abroad.
The Vice-President warned that Government will soon be reviewing the performance of the country’s missions abroad and those not bringing any benefits into the country risk being closed.
Mrs Wina said Government is vigorously pursuing economic diplomacy to ensure that it benefits from bilateral and multilateral trade tries as opposed to political diplomacy.
“We will take stock of what is happening in other countries to see how Zambia is benefiting economically from the countries where Zambia is represented…what these missions are bringing to the kitty,” she said.
The Vice-President urged missions abroad to emulate the Zambian embassy in China for working tirelessly in facilitating and bringing development to Zambia.
The Zambian mission in China has scaled up vigorous activities that have facilitated massive infrastructural development in Zambia, among them multi-million dollar projects such as the expansion of Lusaka’s Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital, construction of a new airport terminal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, and Ndola International Airport.
Others are the proposed revitalisation of the Tanzania Zambia Railways, Zambia Railways and establishment of agro, construction, trade and service industries.
In addition, the embassy organised the Zambia Week which runs from July 26 to 29 as an initiative to provide a platform to market Zambia’s tourism potential and preferred investment destination for China through trade and cultural tourism exhibitions.
As part of the Zambia Week activities, the Vice-President is expected to hold a series of meetings with Chinese government officials and businesses in Chengdu and Miayang cities in Sichuan Province.
The Vice-President urged the staff to also focus on wooing Chinese manufacturing companies to set up base in Zambia.