President Hakainde Hichilema has called for more trade and investment between Zambia and the United States of America (USA) in order to address the various economic challenges the country is facing.
Speaking during a bilateral meeting with the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen at State House in Lusaka yesterday, the President said strengthened trade and investment between the two countries will help to address various economic challenges in Zambia which were caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war.
The Head of State said enhanced investment in various sectors such education and agriculture are vital for the economic growth of the country.
Mr Hichilema also noted that there is need not to shrink the envelope of investment but expand it in order to support Zambia, which needs to meet its International Monetary Fund (IMF) deadline.
‘’There is need to expand the envelope of investment between Zambia and other countries in order to unlock the investment potential of the country like Zambia in various sectors such agriculture, energy and infrastructure which can help the growth of food security of the country,” he said.
He added that, “I would also like to express gratitude for the support that the US government has been rendering to Zambia over the years in various areas of the economy such as education and health,’’ he said.
And US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, said the economic cooperation between Zambia and America is crucial as the two countries are facing global economic headwinds, including the spillover from the Russia-Ukraine war.
Professor Yellen expressed hope that her visit to Zambia will help the two countries to tackle global challenges that have serious consequences at national level.
She said there is need to invest in healthy populations and preparedness for future health shocks and continued efforts to systematically tackle corruption in the country.
‘’I greatly appreciate the opportunity to exchange views here in Zambia and for your warm welcome and hospitality and I look forward to our continued conversation and work to strengthen our bilateral economic integration,’’ said Prof. Yellen.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane, expressed gratitude to the US government for the support and huge assistance expected through the Millennium Challenge.
Dr Musokotwane observed that the best way for Zambia to be assisted is to create an environment that is going to attract more investment.
He said investment creates wealth and jobs and also enhances the tax revenue of the country.
“I would like to thank the Secretary of the Treasury for the support that she has continued to render in helping Zambia to get that relief under the common framework,’’ he said.