China assured over debt management by President Lungu
On Wednesday a broad range of bilateral cooperation was discussed by President Lungu and the Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Mr Li Jie.
The discussions were primarily focused on economic cooperation between the two countries, in which the Ambassador assured the President of China’s continued cooperation and support in various areas of national development.
However clarification on Zambia’s debt restructuring programme was sought so that the Chinese authorities and financing could plan accordingly. Assurance was given by China for their support for Zambia in its debt restructuring measures announced by the Minister of Finance, Margaret Mwanakatwe last month.
On Zambia’s part, President Lungu gave assurances that throughout the implementation of the Debt Restructuring Programme, Zambia will engage with China to avoid disruption in the financing for project implementation and overall contractual obligations.
Five Ministers have been assigned to travel to China in the coming days to hold strategic consultations with Chinese authorities, financing institutions and Chinese companies doing business in Zambia to discuss the Debt Restructuring Programme. But the President also appealed to the Chinese Ambassadors to inform all relevant Chinese authorities, and companies that there will be no disruption to projects.
Finally the President thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the strong support China has provided to Zambia and encouraged him to work towards greater bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest for the two countries.
The strong relationship must be for the benefit of the Zambian people, and not solely for the Chinese businesses, and it all rests upon the government successfully implementing the Debt Restructuring programme. The future relationship rests upon this.