Zambia’s Ambassador to Sweden, Rose Salukatula has urged Zambians living in Sweden to work towards maintaining Zambia’s brand as a beacon of peace and unity.
The Ambassador has called on the nationals to realise that peace was an important asset if Zambia was to continue attracting tourists as well as foreign investment in various sectors of the economy in order for the country to achieve sustainable development.
“Let us emulate our founding fathers and mothers in being patriotic and to speak good of our country as any negative sentiments from any of us will not help anyone but just hurt the economy of the country.”
Ambassador Salukatula was speaking in Stockholm yesterday at a colorful reception hosted for Zambians, diplomats accredited to Sweden and various other stakeholders to commemorate Zambia’s 54th Independence anniversary which fell on 24th October. The event was held at the Ambassador’s residence.
She said the Government’s aim was to carry everyone along on the development path hence the establishment of progressive laws such as the one on Dual Citizenship which was meant to allow those with dual nationality to participate in the running of affairs of the country.
The Ambassador encouraged Zambians in the diaspora to invest back home by taking advantage of the opportunities that existed in the mining, agricultural, energy and tourism sectors.
“I urge you to take advantage of the incentives that have been provided for businesses in the multi-facility economic zones that have been created in some parts of the country. “
She said the Zambian Government aimed at accelerating economic development through bilateral and multilateral cooperation hence the focus shifting to economic diplomacy as opposed to the traditional political diplomacy.
She said that there was need to increase trade volumes with other nations such as Sweden so that Zambian goods and services could have a wider market.
The Ambassador urged the diplomats at the event to convey her invitation to the business community in their respective countries to come to Zambia and explore the abundant investment opportunities that were available.
“Zambia remains an investment destination of choice and I would, therefore, urge all those looking for where to put their money not to hesitate but make Zambia their next stop. Apart from political stability, you are assured of one of the most conducive business environment and favourable fiscal policies that support business.”
On foreign policy, the envoy pointed out that Zambia will continue to maintain friendly diplomatic and trade relations with other countries, with priority given to remaining committed to promoting peace and security at home and abroad.
She noted that Zambians were proud that their President, Edgar Lungu assumed the Chairpersonship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation at the Summit of Heads of State and Government which took place on 17 and 18th August, 2018 in Windhoek, Namibia.
“Through this role, we will continue to strengthen our participation, as we have always done, in mediation, conflict resolution and peace – building initiatives.”
Ambassador Salukatula also urged Zambia’s cooperating partners not to be swayed by elements bent of spreading malicious reports about Zambia.
She thanked Sweden and other countries in the Nordic and Baltic region for the support they have continued to channel to Zambia, particularly in the area of human capital development where a lot of Zambians have been trained and continue to gain skills in various fields of study.
And Sweden has said that it would want to work with Zambia as the country continues implementing its current vigorous developmental agenda.
Deputy Head of the African Department, Daniel Woolven, who represented the Swedish Government at the reception, said Sweden has recognised the positive efforts that the Zambian Government was making in various areas.
Mr Woolven said Zambia and Sweden have enjoyed warm relations for a long time and that the Scandinavian country was keen to develop the relations further.
He cited the recent visit to Zambia by Swedish State Secretary for Agriculture and a business delegation that visited Zambia in April this year as testimony to how eager Sweden was to work with Zambia.
Mr Woolven noted that Zambia has been a peaceful country for a long time and that this has benefited Sweden in its efforts to help bring about peace to other countries in the region.
He commended Zambia for continuing to hold late United Nations Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjöld, who was a Swede, in high esteem even in his death.
The Ambassador assured the community that the embassy was working on ways through which collaboration between the Mission and citizens would be enhanced.
She told the audience that the Mission wanted to make use of online platforms as much as possible and that it would soon launch a modern interactive website that would allow for online registration of citizens as well as enable people to send inquiries and receive feedback in good time. Information on the website will also be updated.