ZAMBIA will extend economic and bilateral relations with neighbouring Angola, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Alfreda Kansembe has said.
Ms Kansembe said this during celebrations to mark Angola's 37th Independence anniversary in Lusaka yesterday.
She said Zambia and Angola had a lot to learn and gain from each other's social and economic spheres.
"To this effect, the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) of cooperation which was established between our two countries needs to be fully utilised.
"It is my firm conviction that through this JPC, we will be able to tap into the potentially productive sectors of our economies," she said.
Ms Kansembe was hopeful that an active JPC between the two countries would enable them to pool their resources into the regional developmental framework encompassing economic groupings such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
"It is also hoped that through the proposed Memorandum of Understanding on political consultations, our two countries will hasten the process of all forms of cooperation," she said.
Ms Kansembe observed that Zambia and Angola enjoyed long-standing fraternal relations dating back to the latter country's independence era, the period when leaders of both countries joined hands in the struggle for freedom and peace for the Angolan people.
Angolan Ambassador to Zambia Balbina Da Silva said the relations between the two countries had a historic meaning.
Through first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda, he said, Zambia played a critical role in the liberation struggle not only for Angola, but for the southern African region.
"After achieving the stability, our two countries can now re-adjust the bilateral cooperation of the objectives and programmes and strengthen their relations in the economic, social, cultural, institutional and security areas with mutual advantages," she said.
Dr Da Silva said Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos had been paying special attention to the strengthening of relations with its neighbouring countries and that Zambia was among them.
He said the railway rehabilitation and train movement up to Zambia as well as the recent commissioning of diverted oil and gas terminal in the Angolan province neighbouring Kuando Kubango would enhance Zambia and Angola's trade relations.