JERRY MUNTHALI, Sanya
PRESIDENT Lungu says he is determined to use his inaugural state visit to China to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) into Zambiaâ€™s sectors away from the traditional mining and agriculture in order to create more employment for citizens.
And President Lungu has arrived in the seaside resort city of Sanya and is today expected to address the Boao Forum of Asia (BFA) 2015 annual conference.
The President said Zambia has many other potential investment opportunities in sectors apart from mining.Â He said the other areas should be marketed to investors.
Speaking to journalists in Shanghai shortly before departure for Sanya yesterday, Mr Lungu said China offers great investment prospects for Zambia and it is important to meet Chinese investors.
â€œIt is high time I met these investors and assured them of the opportunities existing in Zambia and see which areas Government needs to improve so that we can make it conducive for them to expand,â€ he said.
President Lungu said China accounts for US$2.9 billion total investmentÂ in various sectors of Zambiaâ€™s economy and has created over 30,000 jobs outside the mining sector.
â€œI want to believe it is not only agriculture but there are many other areas which are still greenfield investment which we have to promote,â€ Mr Lungu said.
The President, who is accompanied by First Lady Esther, is expected to address the BFA annual conference 2015, which will be attended by other heads of state and government and later hold high-level bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Others in President Lunguâ€™s delegation are special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda, special advisor for political affairs Kaizer Zulu, special assistant to the President for development and economic affairs Hibeene Mwiinga and Army Commander Lieutenant General Paul Mihova.
The theme for the BFA annual conference 2015 is: Asiaâ€™s New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny.
President Lungu and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni are the only African leaders among 15 heads of state and Government invited to attend BFAÂ annual conference 2015.
Meanwhile, President Lungu, who arrived in Sanya yesterday, will today travel to the scenic town of Boao to address the BFA conference at the invitation of Mr Xi.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba, senior Government officials and their Chinese counterparts welcomed the president at Sanya Phoenix International Airport.
The China Eastern Air commercial airline carrying the President and his elegation landed at Sanya Phoenix International Airport at 15:35 hours local time.
President Lungu arrived at Sanyaâ€™s MGM Grand Hotel around 16:15 hours to a thunderous welcome.
JERRY MUNTHALI, Sanya