By SILUMESI MALUMO
THE decision by the Chinese government to provide debt relief to Zambia would reduce pressure on the treasury especially that the economy had been impacted negatively by Covid 19, proving that China is a reliable partner, former Minister of Finance Katele Kalumba has said.
Dr Kalumba said China has proved yet again to be a reliable partner to Zambia because it is always there to help in times of economic challenges as it has done by providing debt relief when the country needed it the most,.
The former minister said while other countries had ignored or were dragging their feet on Zambia’s appeal for debt relief, China had responded quickly.
He said in an interview yesterday, he was therefore looking forward to see a smart partnership which would bring economic stability in Zambia.
Dr Kalumba said “We have to look to the future to create a creative relationship with China. We need to set up a concrete relationship with the Chinese in a way that that will improve the wellbeing of the country.
He said that what they had done was clear that they want to help Zambia economically hence the need to cement a concrete relationship. He said Zambia should always look up to China and should never follow some countries that discriminate against it.
“The Chinese have proved to be all weather friends for a long time and it proves to the western powers who have been looking on them as simply being extractive in Africa that they are genuine investors.
They have a long term objective, but even us we need to be smart partners so that we are able to negotiate terms that can benefit our people.
“For instance our export economic zone have proved to be a creative idea and thanks to President Lungu and his team. We are seeing value addition to Zambian products and further we are seeing a bilateral support to each other to develop an industrial base for Zambia,” Dr Kalumba said.
By SILUMESI MALUMO