President Edgar Lungu says he expects trade exports to India to exceed U$D1 billion by the end of this year.
President Lungu regretted that Zambia’s exports to India are less than eight hundred million US dollars.
Mr. Lungu has since challenged the business community to take advantage of the bilateral and trade ties that exists between Zambia and that country.
The Head of State said this during the Zambia-India Business Forum held in Lusaka today.
The Forum is organised by Government through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry under the auspices of the Zambia Development Agency(ZDA).
President Lungu said government through the Seventh National Development Plan(7NDP) wants to promote and accelerate trade by diversifying Zambia’s economy through a resilient but robust industrialized path or agenda.
He said to achieve this agenda, the private sector is key in participating in the activities that will help grow the country’s economy.
The Head of State noted that Zambia is endowed with abundant natural resources such as water, land and good soils that can spur economic growth.
The President said this is also evidenced by a number of visitations by former Republican Presidents as well as current serving government officials from India and other countries.
And the visiting President of India Ram Nath Kovind disclosed that his country would continue assisting Zambia become a regional hub for pharmaceutical products since it imports most of her medicines.
The Indian President said trade investment between his country and Zambia would soon hit U$D5 billion in key sectors of the economy such as energy, tourism, education, health among others.
Mr. Kovind said there is still room for expanding linkages and entrepreneurships through the bilateral relations which have continued to exist for many years now.
He called for the establishment of the India-Zambia trade corridor through the established Chambers of Commerce (Zambia’s Industrial Chamber of Commerce and that of India).
The two Heads of State commended the holding of the Forum saying it was a platform for intensifying trade investment opportunities and also assured that their governments are catalysts for promoting trade by empowering local businesses.
The forum was attended by senior government officials from both India and Zambia and representatives from the private sector.
The Ministry of Health and Apollo Hospitals of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU is based on technical assistance, capacity building and exchange programmes among others between India and Zambia.
Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya signed on behalf of the Zambian government while Apollo Hospitals of India Vice President Dr. Haariner Singh Sidhu signed on behalf of the hospital.
The two governments reaffirmed their commitments to improving the welfare of the Zambian people with regards to the provision of quality health care services.
Dr. Chiluya noted that India is endowed with highly expertise in cardiac hence Zambia can learn from that country.
Dr. Chilufya stated that the number of referrals abroad would now be reduced following the historic signing of MoU which is driven by the private sector in improving the health sector in Zambia.
The signing in ceremony was witnessed by Foreign Affairs Minister, Joseph Malanji, Zambia’ High Commissioner to India Judith Kapijipanga, Medisys Limited Executive Director Chandan Yadav, senior health and government officials.