Zambia-China trade hits US$ 5 billion

The bilateral trade volume between Zambia and China has reached US$5 billion for the first time in the 55 years history of economic and mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Li Jie said the milestone trade volume recorded in 2018 has seen Zambia post a year-on-year growth of 33.9% with a surplus of more than US$3 billion.

Ambassador Jie said china’s direct investment into the country has continued to grow and increased US$327 million, ranking Zambia as China’s second trading partner in Africa.

The Chinese envoy said this in a press statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday when he gave a reflection on the 55th anniversary of Zambia’s independence and establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Zambia.

Mr Jie who praised Zambia’s transformation agenda described the country’s economic outlook as positive and progressive and said the enormous development potential needs to be nurtured and realized.

“I deeply feel that Zambia has great development potential. The country has a tradition of stability, the economy is growing fast, the society is full of vitality, and people’s livelihood continues to improve,” said Ambassador Jie.

The Chinese envoy said china will continue to invest in Zambia in order to assist the country improve her economy in order to benefit Zambians.

Ambassador Jie said China and Zambia have since intensified high-level cooperation under the framework of the forum of China-Africa cooperation (focac) in areas of infrastructure, ICT, energy, agriculture, processing and manufacturing to bring tangible benefits to the two peoples.

Mr Jie expressed optimism that the development of china’s economy and transitioning from rapid growth to high quality development will continue to inject strong impetus into the China-Zambia economic and trade cooperation.

He said Zambia remains an important partner of china in promoting the belt and road initiative aimed at building a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

The Chinese envoy pointed out that president Xi Jinping, has repeatedly stressed on different occasions that china’s door of opening-up will not be closed but continue to open even wider.

Mr Jie said the chinese government intends to expand imports, cut import tariffs, and further open up the market to promote balanced growth of foreign trade and accelerate industrial upgrading in china.

He said China will continue to help accelerate Zambia’s industrialization process and the implementation of the 7NDP supporting a number of key projects such as the CMCC South-East ore body, Zambia-Jiangxi multi facility economic zone, Kafulafuta dam and water supply, village satellite TV, Smart Zambia and Levy Mwanawasa Hospital.

China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development making it the world’s second-largest economy, with its GDP topping US$13.6 trillion in 2018, with a 6.6 percent growth rate.

China remains the world’s biggest trader in goods, achieving a 9.7 percent increase in 2018 and grossing more than US$4.5 trillion in total value.

As the biggest engine for many years, china has contributed nearly 30 percent to global economic growth.

According to global analysis, in the coming 15 years, china’s import of goods and services are expected to exceed us$30 trillion and US$10 trillion respectively in the next 15 years.

Ambassador Jie believes this will bring new opportunities for cooperation between Chinese and Zambian enterprises in order to help Zambia’s quest for a middle-income country and agenda of job creation, poverty reduction and improvement of people’s livelihoods

The Chinese envoy said china does not pursue a trade balance with Zambia, but stands ready to supporting Zambia’s economic and social development through cementing bilateral trade.

Mr Jie said this is demonstrated initiatives such as the signing of agreements like the 2018 agreement for the importation of quality Zambian honey to China.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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