Italian President Sergio Mattarella has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to support Zambia reach an understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on its debt restructuring programme.
Mr Mattarella said his country is ready to help Zambia in its economic recovery trajectory.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on President Hichilema at State house today, Mr Mattarella said this is one way of strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.
“Italy stands ready to help Zambia in many sectors of the economy such as Mining, Agriculture, health and education among others. Zambia is a beacon of peace and a promoter of democratic tenets,” he said.
He explained that Italy is committed to further strengthen ties with Zambia by setting up businesses and infrastructure development among others across the country.
Mr Mattarella also praised Zambia for its resolve to fight corruption saying the vice retards economic development.
And President Hakainde Hichilema hailed Italy for the huge contributions it renders to Zambia in all sectors of the economy such as energy, Agriculture among others.
Mr Hichilema noted that the cooperation between the two countries spans many years ago when successful leaders of Italy and Zambia initiated warm relationship.
The President further called on Italy to support Zambia in its journey to access the IMF bailout which is expected to cushion the country’s challenges in many sectors of the economy.
“Indeed Zambia is grateful for Italy’s contributions and support in all the sectors of the economy especially in energy, education, agriculture among others,” he said.
Mr Hichilema added that Zambia is endowed with mineral resources which needs value addition, stating that Italy can help in that area in a bid to transform the country.
He further assured Italy of Zambia’s continuous upholding of democratic tenets, peace and stability to foster social and economic development as democracy is the hallmark of development.
The President commended his Italian counterpart for visiting Zambia as the move will spur deeper mutual understanding between the two countries.
The Italian President who is accompanied by First Lady Laura Mattarella arrived in the country yesterday.