French President, Emmanuel Macron has invited President Hakainde Hichilema to visit France in early 2023 in order for the two countries to strengthen their long standing bilateral relations.
And visiting French Minister of State for Development Francophone and International Partnership, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou has congratulated Zambia for managing to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) credit facility.
Dr Zacharopoulou was speaking at State House in Lusaka today, when she delivered a letter containing a special message from President Macron when she paid a courtesy call on President Hichilema.
She explained that France as the deputy Chairperson for the committee on the common framework for Zambia’s debt restructuring will continue to support all the efforts that Zambia is undertaking to successfully manage its debt.
“We wish to congratulate you on the excellent outcome of the approval of the IMF credit facilitation, and as France as part of the common framework committee will continue to support you going forward,” she said.
She also noted that while in Zambia, she has managed to meet the Ministers of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and Green Economy and Environment and a number of issues on how best the two countries can work together in improving the different sectors of economy were discussed.
Dr Zacharopoulou cited collaboration in forestry restoration, energy and trade and investment as some of the topics that have been covered.
She said to this effect France will make available loans that can be accessed by Zambians in these sectors, adding that the two Ministers have since been invited to visit France by the end of the year to further engage with French business persons.
She noted that her country is planning on organizing an investment and trade summit, which Zambia can take advantage of and explore its further investment opportunity within the French economy.
And President Hichilema has held the strong bilateral relations that Zambia and France have continued to enjoy as evidenced with an active role that France played to help Zambia secure an IMF bailout package.
President Hichilema explained that France, China and South Africa are an important part of Zambia’s debt restructuring process by virtue of them being key members of the committee of common framework on debt restructuring programme.
“We are happy that France supported us towards our debt resolution, it is extreme important for us to successfully manage to get a credit facility from IMF for our debt which will help us better the lives of our people,”
He explained that Zambia has embarked on a robust economic transformation agenda as enshrined in its Eight National Development Plan which is about building a resilient economy that supports growth.
He pointed out that to achieve this, Zambia is working with different stakeholders, including countries like France in order to grow its trade, investment and Foreign Indirect Investments.
President Hichilema further informed the French delegation that Zambia is committed to upholding the rule of law and respect for human rights.