President Hakainde Hichilema says with the successful clinching of the debt restructuring, Government’s focus now is on economic cooperation, trade and Investment.
Speaking in an interview with the Israel 24 television channel in Jerusalem yesterday, President Hichilema said Zambia is indebted to the G20 framework co-chaired by France and China for the role they played in ensuring that Zambia’s huge debt was restructured.
He reiterated that that the huge debt that Zambia had incurred over the years, was choking and stiffening the country’s economy saying efforts by France and China to ensure Zambia’s debt was restructured is highly commendable.
ZANIS reports that President Hichilema says Zambia appreciates all the countries that contributed in seeing the country clinching a deal on debt restructuring.
Asked how Zambia’s relationship is with the West and China, President Hichilema said there are no complications with regards to Zambia’s relationship with the West and China.
He says Zambia is committed to work with any country in order to advance its economic developmental agenda aimed at bettering the lives of the Zambian citizens.
Mr. Hichilema said his party, the United Party for National Development (UPND) will not depart from its 2021 campaign promise of bettering the lives of the Zambian citizens.
He says Zambia believes and will promote economic diplomacy with other countries as it believes that economic diplomacy is the anchor that is needed in order to grow the country’s economy and improve the lives of Zambian citizens.
“There are absolutely no complications with regards to Zambia’s relationship with the West and China. Economic diplomacy is our anchor that we want to achieve in order to grow our economy and provide our children’s needs in terms of education and also job creation for our youths in the country,” said President Hichilema.
He emphasised that Zambia is ready and committed to work with various countries saying good relationships with other countries is good not only for Zambia but the world as a whole.
And President Hichilema says there is no room for military coups in Africa saying military coups take away the space for democracy through the suspension of the Constitution.
President Hichilema said military coups have no space in Africa and should not be allowed to take root.
“Military coups are bad and should not be allowed anywhere in Africa,” said President Hichilema.
He said that democracy advances development while military coups affect the ordinary citizens and should be condemned in strongest terms.
President Hichilema says there is a need for a stable world where every country is at peace with other countries and citizens working together within the spaces provided for through democracy.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema says Zambia has a lot to learn from Israel in terms of technological innovation and advances.
He said using technology, Israel has recorded success stories in agricultural production saying Zambia would like to leverage on the technological innovation made by Israel to improve and grow its economy.
President Hichilema says water harvesting is another thing that Zambia wants to learn from Israel to improve agricultural production.
Mr. Hichilema said Zambia wants to reduce the cost of doing business by incorporating technology and innovations.
He said Zambia has drawn a lot of lessons from Israel through a presentation by Start – up Nation Policy Institute on the need to incorporate technology and allow the private sector to participate in the economic development of the country.
Earlier, Start-up National Policy Institute Senior Policy Fellow Danny Biran said Israel is where it is today through technological innovation and advances as well as the participation of the private sector in the economic development of the country.
Mr. Biran said Israel 30 years ago was very poor but invested in technological innovation and advances and allowing the private sector to fully participate in the economic development of the country.
He said technology is key in economic development.
“Israel is where it is today compared to 30 years ago because of investment in technological innovation and advances and also because of team work of allowing the private sector to participate in the economic development of the country,” said Mr. Biran.
President Hichilema accompanied by the First Lady Mrs Mutinta Hichilema arrived in Israel yesterday on a debut visit at the invitation of Israeli President His Excellency Mr. Isaac Herzog.