The PF government says it expects to sign $1 billion in Chinese loans and investment at this week’s China-Africa summit in Johannesburg, in direct contradiction to ‘austerity’ measures announced by president Lungu a week ago.
Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda said Zambia was expected to conclude deals with China in infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, power generation as well as agriculture.
Just last week, president Edgar Lungu said such projects were put on ice and that no more loans will be procured without express approval of parliament as part of measures to save the economy from further deterioration. But yeah, this is PF.
Zambia and China were also likely to sign an agreement for the construction of two modern hospitals, Chanda said.
“These deals should add up to over $1 billion,” he told Reuters.
Chinese firms have invested heavily in mining and other sectors in the southern African nation over the last 10 years with investment exceeding $3 billion in 2014, according to latest Chinese embassy estimates.
An crippling electricity shortage and weaker copper prices have put pressure on Zambia’s mining industry, threatening output, jobs and economic growth
China plans to invest a further $900 million over the next five years in an economic zone, where firms would be exempted from some taxes such as customs duties. As if they have ever paid tax properly.