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Zambia, Saudis focus on agriculture

KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
AGRICULTURE is one of the major focus areas of co-operation between Zambia and Saudi Arabia, says Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Chalwe Lombe.
Mr Lombe said agriculture is a priority area in Zambia’s diversification and national development plan.
He said this during the opening ceremony of the second session of the Saudi–Zambian joint permanent commission (JPC) meeting in Lusaka.
“Government has opened up farm blocks in all the 10 provinces and these immense opportunities have been made available for Saudi investment in accordance with provisions in the Zambia Development Agency Act,” he said.
Mr Lombe said it is important that the two countries collectively explore ways of enhancing cooperation in key sectors.
“I wish to urge each one of us to fully commit ourselves to the decisions of the JPC and ensure effective implementation of the programmes to be discussed,” he said.
He also said there is still room for the two countries to further enhance co-operation and reap maximum benefits.
Mr Lombe also paid gratitude to President Lungu and His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia for the convening of the JPC.
And Saudi Arabia deputy minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture for Fisheries Ahmed bin Salih Elkhemshi said his country attaches importance to the general co-operation agreement signed between his country and Zambia.
Mr Elkhemshi also said Saudi Arabia attaches importance to the JPC because it is an effective tool for implementing the agreement, as well as to lay specific foundation for consolidation of trade, economic, investment, scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

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