Tuesday, January 20, 2009

(DAILY MAIL) China gives Zambia K326bn

China gives Zambia K326bn

CHINA has given Zambia a K326 billion concessional loan which includes a grant for the construction of Food Reserve Agency storage sheds and completion of the banquet hall and international conference centre at the new Government complex in Lusaka.

The other funds will be used for the construction of a modern stadium in Ndola, the dispatch of three Chinese agricultural experts to Zambia under the technical cooperation agriculture and projects to be agreed upon by the Chinese and Zambian governments.

Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane, announced this in Lusaka yesterday at State House during a signing ceremony for five framework agreements.

Dr Musokotwane signed for Zambia while Chinese minister of Commerce, Chen Deming, did so for his country.

President Banda, who earlier held a closed-door meeting with Dr Chen and his delegation, witnessed the signing ceremony.

“The first framework agreement for the concessional loan amounting to 86,530,00 RMB or approximately K62.9 billion will go towards upgrading hard standing (slabs) and construction of new grain storage sheds under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives,” Dr Musokotwane said.

The other framework agreement amounts to about K139 billion (191,000,000 RMB) that will be used to facilitate the completion of the banquet hall and conference centre at the Government complex building in Kamwala area.

Dr Musokotwane said in the mid 1970s, the Chinese and Zambian governments signed a technical assistance agreement for the construction of the Government Complex.

The complex comprises the main building, Lusaka Museum, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Zambia Development Agency, banquet hall and the conference centre.

Dr Musokotwane said in the agreement, China was to provide the designs, construction and building experts while Zambia was responsible for funding the project.
The fourth framework agreement amounts to K14.6 billion to be utilised on projects yet to be agreed upon by the two governments but to be on priority programmes.

A grant of K1.2 billion will be used for technical assistance to Zambia through provision of three agricultural technical experts in the fields of agriculture planning and development, irrigation, rice production and marketing.

This will be implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

And Dr Chen said last year’s bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to about US$540 million.
He said China’s first economic cooperation zone in Africa was established in Zambia and would create about 3,500 jobs for the local people.

Dr Chen also said in view of the global economic crisis, Zambia and China needed to unite and work together to tackle problems facing the two countries.
Earlier, President Banda said he was happy that the Chinese delegation found time to visit some of the projects in Zambia.

Mr Banda said China had been a long-standing friend of Zambia and helped the latter to construct the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority rail line at a time when no other country was willing to undertake the project.
He said China also helped Zambia during the independence struggle.

Mr Banda thanked Chinese President Hu Jintao for having allowed his delegation to travel to Zambia to see some of that country’s projects in Zambia.

He said he was also happy that the Chinese delegation was satisfied with the work being done at their projects in Zambia and especially on the Copperbelt.



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