Vice President Inonge Wina says the twinning of Lusaka province to Sichuan province of the Peoples Republic of China has opened the way for unprecedented economic, trade and tourism ties that will expedite the transformation of Zambia and improve the lives of people.
Mrs Wina says the cooperative agreement between Lusaka and Sichuan Province’s is the tonic that was needed to spur the socio-economic landscape of Lusaka province.
The Vice President expressed optimism that Sichuan province will bring the necessary investment and best practices for Lusaka to adopt and employ in the Zambian province’s development agenda.
ZANIS reports that Mrs Wina said during the establishment of friendly and cooperative relations between Lusaka and Sichuan provinces in Chengdu in China.
Lusaka province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe signed for Lusaka while Vice Governor Zhao Hexin signed for Sichuan province.
Mrs. Wina directed Mr. Mwakalombe to ensure that the twinning programme is a success so that other provinces follow the lead Lusaka has taken.
The Vice President said she looks forward to seeing the transfer of technology from Sichuan to Lusaka to help develop Zambia’s technology industry.
She pointed out that Sichuan province whose population stands at 91 million had invested in infrastructure and Science and Technology to spur its development and make it China’s gateway to the western world with an economy boost of over US $500 billion .
The Vice President stated that the twinning programme should take the warm friendly relations between Zambia and China to another level for the mutual benefit of both countries and their people.
Mrs Wina pointed out that China has continued to be an all-time friend of Zambia demonstrated through the financing of various developmental projects among them construction of TAZARA , new airports , hospitals and hydro power facilities .
And Secretary General of Sichuan Province People’s Congress Party Wang Pongming said Zambia and China can no longer delay the twinning programme as it offers tremendous economic, trade and investment benefits.
Mr. Ponging said Sichuan Province remains eager to deepen economic and trade ties with Lusaka province and assist Zambia as had been done in the past by the founding fathers.
Mr Mingyong recalled that Sichuan province sent 8,000 of its people to help in the construction of the Tanzania Zambia Railways and that several Sichuan based companies are in Zambia contributing to the country’s infrastructure development.
And Mr Hexin said time was ripe for his Province to twin with Lusaka province to spur economic growth and improve people’s lives in the two provinces.
He paid glowing tribute to Zambia’s Ambassador to China for designing the Zambia week initiative which has subsequently opened the country to more Chinese investments.
And earlier in the day, Chongwe District was twinned to Mianyang City, which has a population of 5.4 million people and is Sichuan’s second largest city as well as China’s only designated Science and Technology city.
Mianyang City is China’s hub for Science and Technology while Chongwe has comparative advantage in agro and has been designated for education and technology research and development.
During the signing ceremony in Mianyang city, Vice President Inonge Wina said the twinning of Chongwe Municipal Council to Mianyang City will spur the development of Chongwe district and improve people’s lives.
Mrs Wina said the twinning programme will also help propel and consolidate the development of Zambia’s technology industry.
She said Mianyang city’s status as China’s Science and Technology city will bring enormous benefits to the Information Communication and Technology ( ICT) sector.
Mayor of Chongwe Geoffrey Chuumbwe and his counterpart for Mianyang City signed the cooperative agreement.
Mrs Wina said the twinning programme is part of the Economic Trade Consensus between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Edgar Lungu.
She said the twinning programme will help realize the vision of the two leaders of promoting local government cooperation between provinces and cities in China and Zambia.
The Vice President stressed that China remains a strategic and valued partner for socio-economic development dating back to the leadership and partnerships of China’s Chairman Mao and Zambia’s Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
And Lusaka province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe expressed optimism that the twinning programme will augment development in Chongwe.
The Minister said the development will open up trade, investment and economic development cooperation opportunities between Chinese businesses and Zambian businesses and locals.
And Mayor of Mianyang City Liu Chao said his City will work towards deepening mutual trade and economic ties with Chongwe District and Zambia as a whole.
Mr Chao said his City will help develop the economy of Chongwe and Zambia to improve people’s lives.
He is expected to lead a delegation of Chinese businesses and government officials to assess and explore trade and investment of Chongwe District.