11 April 2013

Zambia, China Agree

CHINA and Zambia have agreed to boost their trade exchanges and provide political safeguards for cooperation.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Michael Sata held private talks in Beijing on Wednesday, where the two leaders pledged to strengthen bilateral relations.

President Sata is in China at the invitation of that country's President, Xi Jinping and attended the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia on Sunday in China's Hainan Province.

Mr Li urged China and Zambia to further increase mutual trust and provide political safeguards for cooperation. "The two sides should expand trade exchanges and deepen investment and financing cooperation and we pledge to promote technology transfer and personnel training for Zambia in a bid to enhance the country's capacity for self-development," Mr Li said. The Premier expressed his hope that Zambia could guarantee the legal rights of Chinese enterprises. President Sata said Zambia firmly believed in the One-China Policy and welcomed investment from more firms in the Asian country.

Meanwhile, top political advisor of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Yu Zhengsheng spoke highly of the friendship forged between the two nations.

Mr Yu, who met with President Sata on Wednesday, said bilateral cooperation would bring concrete benefits to both countries. He said the CPPCC would intensify high-level exchange programmes with Zambia in order to boost national development on both sides. President Sata said Zambia cherished ties with China and welcomed Chinese companies to step up their investment in the country.

Meanwhile, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda has urged investors to open up bases in the first ever economic zone China is developing in Africa located in Chambishi on the Copperbelt.

Mr Chenda was speaking to more than 200 business executives that attended a trade and industry forum at the China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Company (CNMC) headquarters in Beijing yesterday. The forum organised by CNMC and the Zambian Mission in Beijing, showed the rise of indigenous Zambian firms and foreign companies credited to the improved investment climate as an incentive to attract more ventures. "About 27 Chinese-owned companies have already taken space in the Chambishi Multi-facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) which is the first ever zone that China is developing in Africa," Mr Chenda said. Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda also attended the forum with Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao.

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