Zambian President Hakainde Hilchilema Attends and Delivers a Keynote Speech at the China-Zambia Trade and Investment Forum

2022-09-30 22:20

On September 28th, 2022, Hakainde Hichilema, President of Zambia, attended the China-Zambia Trade and Investment Forum jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy in Zambia and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI) with the theme of "China-Zambia Trade and Investment in the New Era: All-Weather, All-Dimensional, High Quality". Du Xiaohui, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Chipoka Mulenga, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Stanley Kakubo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Situmbeko Musokotwane, Minister of Finance, Jacob Mwiimbu, Minister of Home Affairs, Charles Milupi, Minister of Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development, Paul Kabuswe, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Reuben Phiri, Minister of Agriculture, Brenda Tambatamba, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Mulambo Haimbe, Minister of Justice, and Meng Hao, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy, Liu Guoyu, Counsellor of the Embassy, Jiang Lei, Defence Attache of the Embassy, Luo Xingeng, representative from the China Non-Ferrous Metal Company (CNMC) attended the forum. The forum is cosponsored by Zambia Development Agency,CNMC and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and held at the China-aided Kenneth Kaunda Wing, Mulungushi International Conference Center.

President Hichilema said that on behalf of myself, the Zambian government and people, I would like to extend my most sincere National Day congratulations to President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and people on the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. After the successful phone conversation with President Xi Jinping in May, we agreed that the bilateral relations had strongly developed. The forum is a direct result of the phone conversation between the two heads of state. I would like to thank President Xi Jinping in particular for his support for practical cooperation between the two countries. The Zambian side is willing to take practical measures to vigorously attract investment from China. The sub-forums set up under the forum will attract more Chinese investment for Zambia’s pillar industries such as mining and agriculture, accelerate the development of new industries such as new energy vehicles, and utilize Zambia’s human and natural resources. The outcomes of the forum are fruitful. The exchange letters of the Duty-Free Treatment for Zambian Products Corresponding to 98% of the Tariff Lines signed by both sides will facilitate the entry of Zambian goods into the vast Chinese market. The Zambian side is willing to share the significant opportunities of China's development.

President Hichilema said that under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has remained the second largest economy in the world, and has lifted nearly 100 million people out of absolute poverty. The Zambian side will strengthen capacity building under the framework of the "Nine Programs" of the FOCAC, cooperate with the Chinese side to support the development of small and medium enterprises, and take advantage of its geographical location to become a regional manufacturing hub.

President Hichilema said that China is an important partner of Zambia. According to Zambian statistics, China has invested nearly 10 billion US Dollars in Zambia and both sides should make more ambitious plans. Zambia has enjoyed a steady surplus in trade with China for a long time, and the first Chinese cooperation zone in Africa landed in Zambia. The Zambian side is willing to create a good business environment, introduce sound policies and protect the rights and interests of investors, including Chinese investments, and hopes that Chinese investors will take the forum as an opportunity to continue to invest in Zambia. We sincerely hope that the Zambian and Chinese business communities will make full use and good use of the forum as an excellent platform to promote business cooperation, benefiting the people of both countries.

Ambassador Du Xiaohui said that in order to implement the outcomes of the phone conversation of the two heads of state, the Chinese Embassy in Zambia took the initiative to hold the forum,with the goal of building a new platform, gathering new growth drivers and exploring new possibilities for practical cooperation between China and Zambia. Guided by the forum’s theme, both sides should jointly shape a bright future for China-Zambia relations. “All-weather” demands collaboration from both countries. China and Zambia should further develop political mutual trust and cooperate more closely through thick and thin, in the spirit of "mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, common development, giving priority to greater good and promoting greater good through seeking benefit." “All-dimensional” demands a long-term perspective. China is prepared to collaborate with Zambia to actively carry out President Xi Jinping's proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Global Development Initiative, and Global Security Initiative. China will unswervingly promote opening up and provide Zambia the growth potential with an unique unmatched single market of 1.4 billion consumers. “High quality” demands unremitting efforts.  When facing successes, it is extremely important to maintain composure and think deeply on the ideas, frameworks, policies, models, and pilot projects of high-quality cooperation. China will uphold the new development concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development in the new development stage, which will serve as a guide for China-Zambia practical cooperation to achieve high-quality development. 

At the opening ceremony, witnessed by President Hichilema, Ambassador Du Xiaohui and Zambian Finance Minister Musokotwane signed the exchange letters of the Duty-Free Treatment for Zambian Products Corresponding to 98% of the Tariff Lines. As outcomes of the forum, the Chinese Embassy in Zambia released two books, which are "The Comprehensive Guide to Investing in Zambia" and "Yellow Pages of the Chinese Companies in Zambia ".

Hon. Mulenga, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry and other guests delivered enthusiastic remarks at the opening ceremony of the forum. 

More than 300 Chinese and Zambian enterprises participated the forum at KKW and 90 Chinese enterprises participated online. Four Chinese provinces including Henan, Jiangxi, Jilin and Shandong and two Chinese cities including Qingdao and Zibo organised online sub-forums or watched the forum live.

After the opening ceremony of the forum, Ambassador Du  hosted the reception of celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. 

Ambassador Du Xiaohui briefly reviewed the great achievements of the People's Republic of China in terms of economic and social development since its establishment, especially in the past decade.

Ambassador Du Xiaohui said that the China-Zambia traditional friendship is unbreakable. The political mutual trust between China and Zambia is unbreakable. The friendship between our two peoples is unbreakable. The 3 unbreakable principles have been the cornerstone for the steady and long-term development of bilateral relations. Standing on a new historical starting point, China will continue to follow the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests put forward by President Xi Jinping, and promote bilateral practical cooperation under the framework of the FOCAC and the Belt and Road Initiative to continue to benefit the two countries and peoples.

Guests at the reception said that President Xi Jinping led the Chinese people to achieve a series of great achievements such as the comprehensive eradication of absolute poverty, which is deeply admirable. They are willing to study China's development vision, learn from China's development wisdom and experience, find a development path with Zambian characteristics, and realize joint development and common prosperity between Zambia and China.