China, Zambia deals will spur growth

YESTERDAY, the China-Zambia High-Quality Development Forum took place in Lusaka.
The forum, born out of President Hakainde Hichilema’s visit to Beijing, China, last September, resulted in the signing of 21 memoranda of understanding worth over US$1 billion in various sectors.
The forum, which attracted over 200 participants from both the public and private sectors from 20 cities in five provinces of China, marks a new chapter in relations between the two countries.
There is no doubt that President Hakainde Hichilema’s economic diplomacy efforts are bearing fruit. Last January he undertook a trip to the UAE and this March we saw International Resources Holding (IRH) from that country getting a stake in Mopani promising to bring to life a mining giant that was dormant for over four years. The coming in of IRH was just one among the many investments promised by UAE companies following his visit.
His visit to China has not only strengthened Zambia’s ties with a long-time economic partner, but it has opened new opportunities for further cooperation.
As Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Du Xiaohui said, China and Zambia have been renewing their all-whether friendship, and that China is a committed partner in Zambia’s mordenisation drive, saying that is the foundation of the elevation of the bilateral relations of the two countries to a Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership announced by the two heads of state in China last September.
There is no doubt that Zambia stands to benefit immensely from the signing of the 21 MoUs between the two countries.
As Embassy of China economic and commercial counsellor Liu Guoyu said, the partnerships forged by the two countries in the areas of energy, mining and agriculture will help improve the livelihoods of Zambians.
There is no doubt that the forum will result in further strengthening of economic ties between the two countries.
The plans to establish multifacility economic zones (MFEZ) in all the 10 provinces through partnerships with China and other cooperating partners will open new opportunities of cooperation between the two countries.
Under President Hichilema’s leadership, Zambia has made tremendous strides in fostering strategic partnerships and attracting foreign investment.
The MoUs signed with China, spanning various sectors, demonstrate the confidence that international partners have in Zambia’s economic potential.
As Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director general Albert Halwampa said, it is only through such partnerships that Zambia can achieve its dream of growing its gross domestic product from the current US$30 billion to about US$100 billion in 10 years’ time.
The increase in investment pledges which stood at US$35 billion for the period 2011 to 2021 to US$50 billion in less than three years of the UPND being in government is a result of the good leadership of President Hichilema.
Indeed, the consistency in policies and the debt restructuring process have indeed laid a firm foundation to attract investments into Zambia.
This achievement speaks to the President’s commitment to creating a conducive business environment and promoting economic diversification. The signing of these deals not only injects much-needed capital into our economy but also creates new opportunities for Zambian businesses, entrepreneurs, and citizens.
As we celebrate this success, we must also acknowledge the efforts of the Zambian government, the Chinese Embassy, and all stakeholders involved in making this forum a reality. We look forward to seeing the tangible benefits of these agreements and the positive impact they will have on our nation’s economic growth and development.
Under the current leadership, Zambia is indeed poised for greatness.