CHINA has hailed the Government for ending 2012 with positive economic results as the communist State also unveiled a K16 billion grant agreement and a K65.5 billion loan deal with Zambia.
The economic and technical cooperation grant aid and interest-free loan facilities would be utilised in the fight against poverty and projects that would be mutually agreed upon by the two governments.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Zhou Yuxiao made the remarks during the signing of the economic and technical cooperation agreement in Lusaka yesterday. Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda also signed on behalf of the Zambian Government.
"China relations with Zambia have continued to grow in 2012 and we are satisfied with the PF for achieving positive growth this year and we will witness more in 2013. China is also satisfied with working relations this year and we will continue to forge deeper relations in the coming year," Mr Zhou said.
Mr Zhou said the warm relations between the countries were common platform to push sustained growth for the two peoples.
"We hope that the facility we are signing today will help boost the fight against poverty and push socio-economic development. This signing signifies the last major job for this year and we hope to continue on the same front in the coming year as we look to expanding and deepening our relations," Mr Zhou added.
And Mr Chikwanda hailed China for its continued support and extended bilateral and multilateral corporation in 2013.
Mr Chikwanda said the projects that would be agreed upon would be those of a priority nature and in the context of the Sixth National Development Plan and the PF manifesto.
"The PF Government is committed to uplifting the standards of living for the majority of its people. The grant and loan facilities will, therefore, be put to good use to ensure maximum benefits are attained in the fight against poverty," Mr Chikwanda said.
He expressed gratitude for the continued support from China and that Zambia remained indebted for the timely aid rendered by the Communist State.
He said Zambia admired the positive progress China had continued to record in areas of manufacturing, commerce and trade, infrastructure and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
He said Zambia had positioned itself to ensure it maximised benefits arising from the declaration of the 2012 Forum for China and Africa Cooperation Summit held in Egypt, where the government of China doubled its pledge to Africa from US$10billion to US$20billion for African countries to access for the period 2012 to 2015.
"I wish to reiterate Zambia's appreciation of the enormous assistance offered by the Chinese Government over the years and hope that both countries will accelerate the implementation of cooperation projects," Mr Chikwanda said.
He reaffirmed Government's commitment to continue deepening and broadening the mutual bilateral and political relationship with China.
He said China's expanded growth had provided great opportunities for African countries to explore and benefit.
"China's economy is vital not only to Zambia and Africa but the whole globe as well. We value this cooperation because you have come to our aid in our time of need such as the construction of the TAZARA, this is just among the many achievements we have recorded as a country through this strengthened friendship," he said.