President Edgar Lungu has said Zambia and Ethiopia have always enjoyed warm and cordial relations premised on common values, interests, and aspirations for liberty, peace, and prosperity of the two countries.
Special Assistant to the President Amos Chanda said in a statement that Mr Lungu reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to further enhance the existing relations between the two countries through increased social and economic cooperation.
President Lungu has underscored Zambia’s commitment and continued willingness to engage with the Government of Ethiopia on a range of areas of mutual interest in further enhancing the bilateral relations that exists between two countries.
The President acknowledged that Ethiopia is the seat of the African Union and hosts the continental body which embodies the continental vision of achieving an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
President Lungu commended the Ethiopian Prime Minister for the hospitality that the Government of Ethiopia extends to African governments when member states gather in Addis Ababa to deliberate on important issues related to the continent’s development and integration.
President Lungu expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for accepting the invitation to undertake the state visit to Zambia.
The President has also expressed sympathy over the death of more than 100 ethiopian nationals who lost their lives on 11th March, 2017, after a landslide on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, at Koshe.
The President said this when he held bilateral talks at State House on Wednesday with his Excellency Mr Hailemariam Dessalegn Prime Minister of Ethiopia who is in country on a State Visit.
And the President has underscored the need for a stable and peaceful Africa.
The President commended the role that Ethiopia, under the Prime Minister’s leadership has played at regional level, particularly in Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on finding a lasting solution to regional conflicts in the horn of Africa and the east African region;
The President reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to promoting peace, security and stability on the African continent through its membership in the African Union Peace and Security Council.
President Lungu assured the Prime Minister that Zambia stands ready to render support to initiatives that are aimed at resolving conflicts and political instability within the Great Lakes region and beyond.
On the Joint Permanent Commission, the President said the convening of the inaugural session of the Zambia-Ethiopia Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) held from 27th to 29th March, 2017 provided a platform for Zambia and Ethiopia to negotiate and agree to cooperate in areas of mutual interest.
On Economic issues, the President expressed Zambia’s desire to cooperate with Ethiopia on exchange of experiences and best practices on government policies, programmes and projects through exchange of visits and study tours at various levels.
The President also noted that Zambia opened an embassy in Ethiopia in 1965 adding that the reciprocal opening of a mission in Lusaka will not only facilitate consular matters but will also enhance business interaction between the two countries.
On trade and industry, President Lungu said that there is great potential to trade in various products between Zambia and Ethiopia saying Zambia can export copper and copper products, horticulture products, edible oil, detergents, drinks, assorted accessories and selected processed foods to Ethiopia, and in turn import leather and leather products from that country.
The President urged the two sides to create a sub-committee on trade, under the auspices of the JPC of cooperation, to look into ways of expanding the volume of trade and promotion of investments between the two countries.
The President also emphasised the important role that the private sector plays in accelerating economic growth and supplementing government efforts in promoting sustainable development.
President Lungu encouraged the Chambers of Commerce and Industry to establish business contacts and start exchanging information on business opportunities.
The President also spoke on various other issues among them Information and Communication Technology, Agriculture and Livestock, Infrastructure development, Tourism and Culture including Aviation.