Government says Zambia and China have increased and diversified trade by over 70 percent, from only copper to other products like timber and organic honey.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister. Chipoka Mulenga, said this in Lusaka recently at the celebration of the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the 5th anniversary of Zambia joining the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as well as the successful State visit of President Hakainde Hichilema to China.
Mulenga said more than 90 percent of trade involving products and services from Zambia into China had been given a status of no tax to enter the Chinese market.
“This is based on true friendship and a deliberate desire to support Zambian entrepreneurs with access to the Chinese market. I am very happy to note that the strong leadership of both of our countries has continued to ensure that our cooperation remains meaningful and yields positive results for our people,”Mulenga said.
The minister said the elevation of the bilateral relations between the two countries and the comprehensive strategic partnership announced by the leaders of Zambia and China recently would deliver increased opportunities for ordinary people in both countries.
He said investment from China into Zambia would be based on areas like partnership and joint ventures between Zambian and Chinese business communities which he believed would create equitable shares of revenue, resulting in skills transfer.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Du Xiaohui, said from 2018 when Zambia joined the BRI, trade had increased from US$3.79 billion in 2017 to US $6.73 billion in 2022, which represented an increment of 77.6 per cent.
He said based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint efforts and shared benefits, the BRI initiative had managed to bring about peace, prosperity, unimpeded trade, green development, innovation and cultural exchange in Zambia and China.
Du said the BRI, which would mark its 10th anniversary next month, would have participants from Zambia, and hoped for more meaningful discussions over possibilities of cooperation as follow-up to talks of President Hichilema and President Xi Jiping.
“Guided by the important consensus reached by our Heads of State, we stand ready to support and help Zambia and other developing countries in their efforts to industrialize and modernize themselves as a Chinese solution and contribution to the global endeavour to narrow the gap between the north and south and achieve common development,” Du said.
Contributed by Dorothy Chisi
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