SOUTH Africa will not abandon trading with Zambia as it seeks to enter into new business partnerships with China and Brazil, High Commission Political Counsellor Patrick Jacobs has said.
He said in Ndola that South Africa would strengthen and open up more opportunities for trading and investments in Zambia as well as encourage more investment avenues for South African investors.
Mr Jacobs said South Africa wanted to see a balanced trade between the two countries whose relationship draws back to the time of the liberation struggle decades ago.
While he acknowledged that there were many South African companies operating in Zambia, he hoped that Zambian firms could also endeavour to invest in that country.
Mr Jacobs was speaking in an interview after he paid a courtesy call on the Copperbelt provincial administration during his familiarisation tour of the province.
"Time has now come for Zambia and South Africa to partner in the creation of trade and investment opportunities for the benefit of the people and the economies of the two countries," he said.
Mr Jacobs said his country was seeking ways of teaming up with its development partners such as Zambia, both at central and local government levels, to create and sustain new development opportunities.
He also held a series of meetings with representatives of the provincial administration and the local authorities and stressed that the South African Mission in Zambia wanted to partner with Zambians in coming up with new initiatives to promote the exchange and growth of trade and investments between the two countries.
South Africa was also shifting focus from the West to the East in its quest to increase and cement trade partnerships.
Speaking at the same occassion, Ndola Town Clerk Charity Mpande said the city was well planned and better positioned for growth and attracting new investment.
Ms Mpande said Ndola offered investment opportunities in areas such as forestry, hospitality, property and real estate sectors.
"Ndola is an ideal area for investment opportunities because it is a well-planned city which has better roads and other infrastructure which is required to sustain the development of Zambia into an emerging market economy," she said.