PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has assured that his Government will continue to promote private sector-driven economy aimed at spurring economic growth.
Mr Lungu said opportunities for foreign investment in Zambia were plenty and urged newly appointed Ambassadors to ensure that their countries increased investment portfolios in the country.
“Investment opportunities are abound especially in the government-prioritised areas of agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, energy and water development and mining.
“I strongly believe, therefore, that your respective countries have a lot to offer Zambia through the enhancement of trade and investment.
I encourage your Excellencies to harness this potential during your tour of duty and increase your countries’ investment portfolio in Zambia,” he said.
The Head of State was speaking in Lusaka when he received letters of credence from five ambassadors-designate and one High Commissioner at State House yesterday.
Mr Lungu received credentials from Filipo Scammaca who is the new Italian ambassador to Zambia as well as Leonidas Contovounesios, the new envoy for Greece.
Others were Alicia Moral Revilla as new Spanish ambassador as well as Mohammed Aminnejad from Iran and Gershon Khan of Israel. Asaf Khan also presented his papers as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Zambia.
Mr Lungu said the Government was encouraging the setting up of joint venture projects between Zambian and foreign investors.
Mr Lungu noted that Zambia’s central location in Africa offered a huge market for business and urged investors from the new envoys to set up business distribution centres in the country.
He said Zambia’s bilateral relations continued to be guided by the country’s foreign policy focus based on national development priorities.
“Our 2014 revised foreign policy will, therefore, continue to serve as a point of reference for shaping and enhancing our partnerships and cooperation,” he said.
The President urged Mr Scammaca to help in building and strengthening the existing cooperation between Zambia and Italy and establish new avenues of mutual partnership in areas that cut across socio-economic, trade and investment.
Mr Lungu said that although Zambia and Greece have been hit by economic challenges, he hoped that the two countries would explore new avenues of cooperation, to pave way for increased trade and meaningful economic, social and cultural cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples.
He said Zambia was keen to benefit from Iran’s expertise in alternative sources of energy, especially now when the country and sub-Saharan Africa was facing a serious power deficit.
On Spain, Mr Lungu said Zambia had continued to cooperate with the European country in area of education, but urged Ms Revilla to explore new areas of cooperation in order to strengthen the country’s bilateral relations.
Mr Lungu said his government had demonstrated commitment to strengthening relations with Israel as demonstrated with the recent opening of a diplomatic mission in Tel Aviv.
The head of State said Zambia looked forward to learning from Pakistan, which is South Asia’s second largest economy, on its experience and enter into agreements in areas of trade and investment.