Zambia calls for increased Chinese investment
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In the run up to his much anticipated visit to the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference, Zambian president Edgar Lungu has called for greater economic collaboration between his country and China.
He proposed that the two countries strengthen ties by collaborating over Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deals, with the goal of attracting Chinese investment to Zambia. The South African nation has experienced economic growth of around 6.3 percent per annum across the past decade and is looking to maintain this enviable success.
Lungu said, “You see, currently the world has become a global village and mostly we are trying to see what we can get from our inter-state relationship and in so doing we have always striven for a win-win or mutual benefit result.”
China has invested a great deal in the success of Zambia; so far this has totalled almost $2.6 billion which has helped secure the employment of up to 50,000 Zambian people.
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The BFA annual conference will bring together world leaders from Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Austria, Armenia and China. Presidents, business leaders, and academics will meet to discuss the most pressing issues facing their countries, with this year’s theme titled ‘Asia’s New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny.’
President Lungu noted the small but significant impact of Chinese tourism and its massive potential for growth, he said, “We will look at this carefully and see how we can partner with the Chinese to higher levels so that the Chinese tourists do not just end up in our neighbouring countries but end up in Zambia as well.”
PPP can certainly provide capital for government spending projects, but this can come at a significant cost since, generally speaking, governments can borrow money at a lower interest than the private sector. If the right decisions are made by both sides, there is still certainly much potential for this partnership to develop between the two nations.