Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Li Qiangmin has said the bilateral relations that exist between Zambia and China have impacted greatly on the economic development of the two countries.
Mr. Li observed that bilateral trade this year realised 100% increase compared with the same period of last year adding that the bilateral trade volume from January to August this year climbed up to US$ 1.688 billion.
ZANIS reports that he said in Lusaka last evening during a media conference that with a growing balance in favour of Zambia, the country could be ranked as China’s third largest trade partner within the sub sahara region.
And Mr. Li noted that as of November this year, 13 enterprises settled down in the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone (ZCCZ) realising US$ 780million and a turnover of US$ 770 million in 2009.
He pointed out that if the turnover reaches US$ 1.4 billion this year, it will bring US$ 40 million revenue to the Zambian government, thereby creating 4000 jobs for local people.
Mr. Li noted that currently, more than 300 Chinese companies operated in Zambia , a development which he said had increased the total value of Chinese investment in Zambia from US$ 500 million in 2006 to 1.26 billion in 2009.
He further explained that Chinese invested enterprises at the moment account for 60% of Zambia ’s infrastructure construction market, 50% of the construction materials market, 20% mining projects and 10% of the agriculture and service market creating at least 20,000 jobs for Zambians.
Mr. Li also pointed out that interactions in culture, education, health and military have been more frequent and closer between the two countries.
He noted that Zambia and China signed the implementation plan of China-Zambia Culture Cooperation Agreement from 2010-2012 in July this year and that all cooperation projects under the agreement were progressing well and as scheduled.
Meanwhile, Mr. Li noted that China and Zambia will next year enjoy a wider range of cooperation and face new historic opportunities.
He said the two countries will continue promoting more robust bilateral relations, enhance mutual political trust, upgrade the level of effective cooperation in economic and trade among others.
Mr. Li also said China and Zambia will make great contribution to peace, stability and prosperity not only for the two countries but the whole Africa and the world at large.