Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo has hailed the warm bilateral relations that exist between Zambia and China.
Mr Lusambo who is visiting China held bilateral discussions with his counterpart Mr. Yin Li, the Governor of Sichuan Province of China to discuss further cooperation between the two provinces.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 17th Western China International Fair being held in Chengdu city of China from 20th to 24th September 2018.
The Lusaka Province Minister is in Chengdu City of China at the invitation of the Sichuan Provincial Government.
Sichuan Province of China and Lusaka Province of Zambia entered into sister province partnership in 2017 under the twinning programme of Zambian and Chinese Provinces being spearheaded by the Zambian Government through its Mission in Beijing and the Chinese Friendship Association with Foreign countries.
During the bilateral discussions, Mr. Lusambo conveyed His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s gratitude to President Xi Jinping and his Government and the leadership of Sichuan Province for extending an invitation to the Zambian delegation from Lusaka Province to attend the 17th Western China International Fair.
He reiterated that Zambia values the relations that exist between the two countries anchored on a rich historical background, friendship and mutual respect.
He assured his host that the Zambian people appreciate China’s unwavering support spanning over 50 years and encompassing cooperation in various fields such as infrastructure development, health and education support, etc.
The Lusaka Province Minister further paid special tribute to the founding fathers of China and Zambia Chairman Mao Zedong and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda for their inspirational and visionary leadership that firmly set the foundation for the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Minister for Lusaka Province commended the Chinese Government for promoting the “Belt and Road” initiative which is a strong demonstration of Chinese inclusiveness in the global economy.
He further observed that over the years, China has grown to be the largest single investor in Zambia.
Mr. Lusambo highlighted various investment opportunities for possible consideration by the Sichuan business community and invited the Governor of Sichuan Province to visit Lusaka Province with his business delegation to appreciate the prospects for further economic cooperation and investment in the various districts of Lusaka Province.
The Minister is leading a delegation of provincial and district officials from Lusaka Province to participate in the 17th Western China International Fair being held in Chengdu city the capital of Sichuan Province of China from 20th to 24th September 2018.
Established in 2000, the Western China International Fair (WCIF) is an important investment promotion, trade cooperation and diplomatic service platform for the Western regions of China.
A total of 90 countries and regions including Zambia, have sent delegations to participate in this year’s 17th Western China International Fair (WCIF) that opened in the city of Chengdu on Thursday 20th September 2018.
The Fair has drawn more than 60,000 domestic and overseas business and government delegations.
In his remarks, Mr. Yin Li, the Governor of Sichuan Province noted that his province has engaged with Zambia since 1972 when about 8,000 people from Sichuan Province took part in the construction of the Tazara Railway line.
The Governor also acknowledged the visit by Vice President of Zambia Mrs. Inonge Wina and former Lusaka Province Minister Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe in 2017 that commenced the sister province relationship between the two provinces.
He noted that the visit by Mr. Lusambo would further cement this relationship.
Mr. Yin Li further accepted the invitation to visit Zambia soon and observed that Sichuan and Lusaka have a lot of potential to expand cooperation in trade and investment.
He noted that currently, companies from Sichuan Province are already undertaking some projects in Lusaka such as in the on-going expansion of Lusaka International Airport.
The Governor assured his counterpart that he would encourage companies from Sichuan to invest in Lusaka Province particularly in ICT, manufacturing, tourism and other sectors.
He further pledged to consolidate technology exchanges between the two provinces.
Sichuan Province is the sixth largest province in China in terms of economic output and boasts an annual GDP of RMB 3.7 Trillion (about $500 billion).
Speaking in an earlier engagement this morning, Mr. Lusambo noted that the Government of Zambia pays attention to prudent management of public resources as this is critical for every developing country to prosper.
The Minister acknowledged the critical need for efficient public procurement processes particularly in developing countries that have relatively greater resource constraints for provision of public goods and services.
The Lusaka Province Minister was speaking as a special Guest at the 3rd Western China Public Procurement Conference which is one of the sub forums of the 17th Western China International Fair being held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province China.
This is according to a statement issued by First Secretary for Tourism and Culture at the Zambia Embassy in Beijing.