Editor's Comment

Seize Dubai opportunity

NO NATION is an island. This is why it is a must that Zambia interacts with other countries to learn from them and for them to learn from Zambia.
More importantly, such interaction provides opportunities for respective nations to grow economically. That is good for any country and its people.
So it is with this in mind that Zambia should reflect on President Hakainde Hichilema’s visit to Dubai for the Expo 2020, dubbed ‘World Expo’, in the United Arab Emirates.
The Expo 2020, which has been running from October 1, 2021, will go up to March 31, 2022, and has 191 country pavilions and 200+ pavilions for exhibitors from all over the world.
Zambia will be represented at two levels; firstly, by almost 40 companies which will be showing their goods and services.
Secondly, and at a higher level, President Hichilema, as the country’s chief marketing officer, will also be interacting with VIPs from the host nation as well as those from other countries.
Speaking on departure yesterday, President Hichilema said he will use the World Expo 2020 Dubai as one of the platforms to find ways of lowering the cost of servicing Zambia’s close to US$27 billion public debt.
While trips are expensive, it would be more costly for Zambia not to seize such opportunities to improve trade, especially that which provides a platform for job creation and generally enhancing social and economic development.
Failing to take full advantage of the World Expo 2020 Dubai may be more expensive because the country needs more contacts and ideas on resolving some of the many challenges Zambia has.
And Dubai, one of the world’s acknowledged financial centres, may provide some solutions to the crippling debt as well as open new avenues for local businesses.
Given the profile of the World Expo 2020, President Hichilema’s trip is certainly an investment worth undertaking.
Zambia is seeking to reposition itself through economic diplomacy as globalisation continues to dictate the order of doing business, politics, education, security, technology and culture.
So, the head of State must travel whenever necessary to open up and reposition the country for enhanced diplomatic relations.
The trips he is undertaking, the bilateral talks he has been holding, and the negotiations and commitments he has been making in all these trips are an investment in international relations and economic diplomacy.
The returns to such an investment could not all be instant but will begin to be felt in the near future.
President Hichilema has ably placed greater emphasis on economic diplomacy.
He has treated such trips with utmost respect and applied himself with exception and exemplary conduct in order to reap the best economic benefits that the country can get out of such.
Zambia cannot afford to live in isolation.

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