Zambia, China Ink U.S.$64 Million Deals

ZAMBIA and China have signed two economic and technical cooperation agreements each worth more than 200 million Chinese Yuan Renminbi (about US$ 32 million).

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda signed on behalf of Zambia while visiting Chinese deputy minister of Commerce Li Jinzao signed on behalf of his country.

One of the agreements is a grant, while the other is an interest free loan.

The two ministers also signed a framework loan agreement for a concessional loan for the upgrade of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.

They also exchanged notes on the adjustment to the Mpika Urban Road Project, borehole drilling project, vocational training supplies, wildlife protection supplies and mass callisthenic technical cooperation project.

The signing ceremony took place at Government House in Lusaka and was witnessed by Vice-President Guy Scott and his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao.

Dr Scott said Zambia had set aside 200 hectares of land for the Chinese Government to set up a memorial park for the people who died during the construction of the Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA).

He said Zambia was indebted to China for the cooperation the two countries have continued to enjoy in many sectors including technological transfer.

“We have known each other for over 50 years. This friendship we have is cordial that is why we feel at home in Beijing,” he said.

The Vice-President said Zambia had fully embraced the Chinese modeled Multi Facility Economic Zones as evidenced by the construction of one in Lusaka South and another in Chambishi.

Dr Li said China’s trade volume to Zambia had increased to $3.8 billion from $3.4 billion in 2012 because of the level cooperation between the two countries.

“The traditional friendship our countries have enjoyed in the last 50 years have grown ger regardless of the economic situation in the world. We hope our visit will enhance it,” he said through an interpreter.

Dr Li also said while in Zambia, the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and the Patriotic Front (PF) will exchange governance ideas.

The Chinese Vice-President touched down at 14:30 hours aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight for a four-day State visit.

Dr Li is accompanied by a 21-member entourage, among them senior government and Chinese Communist Party officials.

He was received at the airport by Dr Scott, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba, Home Affairs Minister Ngosa Simbyakula, Health Deputy Minister Chitalu Chilufya and outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Zhou Yuxiao.

Dr Li was accorded a 21-gun salute before inspecting a guard of honour.

Dr Li’s four-day visit is to reciprocate the Zambian Government officials’ visits to China and afford the Chinese Government an opportunity to celebrate Zambia’s 50 years golden jubilee and the 50 years of cooperation between the two countries.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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