PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu values the good relations that exist between Zambia and Australia, Zambia High Commissioner-Designate to Australia, George Zulu has said. Mr Zulu says President Lungu sent a Resident High Commissioner to Australia because of the outstanding warm and cordial relations between the two countries and increased investment between the two.
He said this when the outgoing High Commissioner to Australia, who is based in Tokyo Japan, Ambassador Mwelwa Chibesakunda paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Canberra, Australia on Thursday.
This is according to a statement issued by First Secretary of Zambia High Commission to Canberra Australia Alick Banda.
Mr Zulu said President Lungu was convinced that Zambia and Australia could further enhance the good relations existing by venturing into other areas of investment such as agriculture and tourism.
‘Australian companies have invested heavily in the mining sector and offering many scholarships for Zambians to study in Australia, hence the need to further strengthen the relations,”Mr Zulu said.
He said the conducive environment President Lungu and the PF Government have put in place has made many investors from Australia and other countries to do business in Zambia.
He indicated that there were over three thousand Zambians living in Australia and this was possible due to the good relations between the two countries.
He said the Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba launched the Foreign Policy last year in October to focus on Economic Diplomacy and that the Minister will in the near future consider the Diaspora Policy to include the interest of the Zambians living abroad, including those in Australia.
He said the Diaspora policy will ensure that Zambians living abroad play a significant role in the development of their country.
He added that President Lungu has an all -inclusive and open door policy to allow as many talented Zambians as possible to be part of the development of the country.
Ambassador Zulu thanked Amb Chibesakunda for promoting good relations between Zambia and Australia since 2012, when he was extra-accredited to Canberra.
He said it will now be easy for Zambians to get assistance in Canberra other than sending requests to Tokyo Japan, which took long to come through. This included visa issues and passport matters.
And Amb. Chibesakunda said the decision to re-open the Mission in Australia was timely and important as most Zambians in their thousands in Australia will have a better service at their disposal.
He expressed hope that more information about investing in Zambia as well as tourism, would easily be obtained by Australians and Zambians included, now that the High Commission was established in Canberra.
He said Zambia stands to benefit a lot from science and technology where Australia is advanced and this will ultimately boost the education sector in Zambia, especially in Universities.
And during a courtesy call on the same day at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) in Canberra, Amb Zulu who met senior officials for the African Desk at the Department, was informed that Australia would continue to support Zambia and offering scholarships in various fields.
First Assistant Secretary at DFAT Marc Innes-Brown, Director of the unit, Matthew Nuehaus and Director for Southern Africa Andrew Barnes, reiterated Australia’s resolve to continue supporting Africa and Zambia in the education sector for some time to come. They indicated that about 15 more scholarships will be offered to Zambia in the next academic year.
Mr Zulu was also informed that Zambia was chosen as the venue for the Australia-Africa Leadership Dialogue Conference which will take place in Livingstone In September this year, where among issues to be discussed will be security cooperation.
Zambia closed its Mission in Canberra, Australia in 1991 due to economic reasons. The country was being covered by Zambia’s Mission in Tokyo,Japan, until now when the country decided to re-open the Mission due to increased investment, many Zambians in Australia and good relations between Zambia and Australia.