The United Kingdom has expressed interest to partner with the Zambian government in areas of trade and investment.
And President Hakainde Hichilema has expressed happiness with this development saying that trade and industry is the foundation on which the new dawn government was elected into office by the Zambian people.
The Head of State was speaking when UK special envoys who included British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley, UK Prime Minister-Trade Envoy Lawrence Robertson and UK Director of Trade-Mining, Sally Bevington paid a courtesy call on him at State House yesterday.
President Hichilema explained that Zambians expect a turn of events in the way government will drive the economy, create job opportunities, better health services, and improve the education system and livelihoods, which is only possible through trade and investment.
“We are grateful to have you here for many reasons, some are obvious but one which is important for us is trade and investment because it is the basis upon which we were elected into office by the people of Zambia,” President Hichilema stated.
Meanwhile, the UK Prime Minister- Trade Envoy Lawrence Robertson said the UK’s interest to partner with Zambia in trade and investment, was inspired by President Hichilema’s agenda for developing Zambia.
Mr Robertson explained the new administration’s agenda has shown a desire to not only create prosperity for the Zambian people through trade and business, but also to fund vital public services.
He noted that the UK is therefore delighted to be considered a partner of choice for Zambia in the areas of trade and investment.
He reminded that the two countries have very strong historic links, which should be taken forward, while stressing the importance that the UK government places on trade.
“The United Kingdom is recognized as being a worldwide trading nation but also to mention that the UK is looking across the world to strengthen trade links in every country,” Mr. Robertson told the President.
He disclosed that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed a number of trade envoys, because of the importance that the country places on trade.
He acknowledged the restrictions that were recently lifted on Zambia from the red listing due to COVID-19, but assured that a lot of companies have shown interest in partnering with Zambia.
And British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley said the UK-Zambia relationship was special hence the interest by UK Prime Minister-Trade Envoy to work with the current government.
Mr Woolley revealed that the UK intends to work with Zambia on a whole range of global priorities such as climate change, protection of human rights and global security, among others.
He noted that the visit by Mr Robertson was to highlight the cooperation between UK and Zambia as well as deepen it.
“We look forward to working together to achieve this because what the UK can bring in terms of its responsibility in terms of business models, and investment in communities is something that will work in tandem with your government’s priorities,” Mr Woolley noted.
Mr Woolley acknowledged that the new administration was elected on a clear path for equitable economic growth that benefits all Zambians, and which strives to improve livelihoods and incomes, hence stressed the need for the UK to be considered a partner of choice to fulfil the ambition.
UK Director of Trade under Mining, Sally Bevington said looking at the history of mining in the UK, it would be better for Zambia to partner with UK companies in all forms of the industry from extraction, and processing to selling.
She identified mining as a crucial part of the world going forward, in terms of renewable resources, especially with minerals such as copper.