President Hakainde Hichilema arrived in Rome, Italy, for a reciprocal State visit, graciously hosted by Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Accompanied by First Lady Mutinta Hichilema and Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo, the visit reciprocates President Mattarella’s journey to Zambia in July of the previous year, where the leaders solidified the longstanding bilateral and international cooperation between the two nations, tracing back to Zambia’s Independence.
During his visit to Zambia, President Mattarella commended the country as a beacon of peace and a champion of democratic principles. He expressed Italy’s commitment to assisting Zambia in various economic sectors, including mining, agriculture, health, and education.
President Hichilema, on his visit to Italy, had the esteemed privilege of meeting His Excellency Sergio Mattarella, the President of Italy, at the Quirinale Palace. Discussions during the meeting focused on the mutual desire to strengthen the relationship between Zambia and Italy, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts for the betterment of both nations and their people.
The leaders explored avenues through which Italy could contribute to accelerating Zambia’s development, with a particular emphasis on sustainable alliances with Italian businesses. Key sectors of interest for collaboration included Agriculture, Energy, Tourism, and Mining, showcasing a commitment to diverse and robust economic partnerships.
President Hichilema, in a statement, acknowledged the honor of delivering the keynote address at the Zambia-Italian Business Forum in Rome. The event saw the participation of 34 Zambian companies, organized by the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Zambia Development Agency. The President encouraged Italian companies to explore abundant opportunities in Zambia, spanning agriculture, energy, mining, infrastructure, health, and tourism.
Highlighting the interconnectedness of the global community, President Hichilema urged businesses to collaborate as a unified team, transcending bureaucratic boundaries and segregation. Recognizing the strengths of Italian businesses in advanced technology and capital and Zambia’s critical mineral endowment, he emphasized the pivotal importance of fostering mutual partnerships that bring benefits to both countries.
Anticipating tangible transactions resulting from the forum, President Hichilema encouraged businesses facing challenges in setting up companies in Zambia to bring them forward for resolution. This proactive approach aligns with the President’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for businesses and furthering economic growth in Zambia.
As President Hichilema continues his diplomatic efforts to bolster international relationships and promote economic partnerships, these engagements mark a crucial step towards realizing Zambia’s developmental aspirations on the global stage.