On 9th November, H.E. Mr. Li Jie, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, met with Hon. Reuben Phiri, Minister of Agriculture. They had an exchange of views on agricultural cooperation between the two sides.
Ambassador Li first congratulated Hon. Reuben Phiri on his appointment as Minister of Agriculture and emphasized that China and Zambia are all-weather partners. China is a large agricultural country and a trustworthy agricultural partner of Zambia. Cooperation in the agricultural field between the two sides is in the ascendant and there is huge room for strengthening our pragmatic cooperation in that regard.
Ambassador Li said that China is an important source of investment for Zambia. Zambia in Africa attracted the most Chinese investment last year. Chinese companies actively invest in Zambia's agricultural sector which strengthens the agricultural cooperation between the two sides and promotes the development of Zambia's agricultural sector. It is hoped that the Zambian side will maintain a conducive and stable business environment and formulate preferential policies for agricultural investment to attract more Chinese companies to invest in Zambia.
Ambassador Li said that China attaches great importance to the trade partnership with Zambia. At the opening ceremony of the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE), President Hichilema was invited as the only African head of state to deliver a video speech. Zambian agricultural-related companies have also deepened their understanding of the Chinese market through platforms such as the CIIE and their products such as honey and blueberry have successfully exported to China. China expects Zambia to make full use of platforms such as the CIIE to jointly expand the export of more high-quality agricultural products like Zambian beef and mutton to China, share the development opportunities in the Chinese market, and increase the diversification of Zambia's exports.
Ambassador Li also exchanged views with Minister Phiri on other agricultural cooperation issues between the two sides.
Minister Phiri said that the Zambian government puts the development of agriculture in the first place and is committed to continuously improving Zambia's agricultural productivity through measures such as improving agricultural infrastructures, enhancing agricultural mechanization, and supporting the poorest farmers. At the same time, the Zambian government will continue to open borders, expand the export of Zambian agricultural products, and promote the diversification of Zambia's economy. Zambia appreciates the good results achieved in cooperation between the two sides in terms of agriculture and looks forward to China's continued use of its advantages in capital, technology, and domestic market to further deepen practical cooperation with Zambia in the agricultural field.