AFTER next month the PF Government and President Edgar Lungu if re-elected would embark on the robust journey to upscale economic diplomacy owing to the documented record of success of being the pioneer for mutual economic benefits between Zambia and other countries.
This will be in line with the dynamics which have taken place at international level.
In the last five years, the government has taken a transitionary approach from political to economic diplomacy. The newly invented economic diplomacy is so far bearing fruits and notable among them is the India-Zambia bilateral relationship which has seen Zambia being at the receiving end of two flyover bridges which have been arguably a marvel in the modernisation of Lusaka and Zambia at large.
Furthermore, the investment treaties signed between Zambia and Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo will exploit the opportunities for Zambia to import the agricultural produce to her neighbours since Zambia is slowly turning into the food basket of southern Africa.
In the era of the Covid pandemic which has made it difficult to travel outside the country, the foreign embassies will be used as the aid of facilitating emigration.
The foreign missions will also be used to help Zambians living abroad to invest back home using the digitalised financial transfer system. This is the first time Zambia is tailoring her own investment policy back home for Zambians abroad.
With the introduction of the dual citizenship, the embassies will also facilitate the acquisition of land by the Zambians living abroad and also engage in meaningful economic activities.
In order to deal with hostilities that Zambian cross border traders and drivers are subjected to when they are in neighbouring countries, Zambia will embark on negotiations for possible signing of trade agreements with neighbouring countries to explore areas of mutual cooperation.
For instance, it is not new for Zambians living in South African to be the victims of xenophobic attacks just like the case was with the drivers who were entrapped in the midst of conflict in Mozambique.
With regard to serving in international organisations, the PF government will negotiate and strategise the placement of Zambians in senior positions in international organisations such as United Nations, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community systems.
This will revise the qualifications to serve in international organisation were proficiency of many international languages is a criterion which overrides even one’s competence.
Zambians will no longer be disadvantaged to work for international organisations on the limitations of their inability to communicate in international languages because there are services of interpreters in international organisations.
Therefore, going forward, Government will continue with the reforms to ensure that Zambia’s standing with other countries is relevant to deal with modern international problems.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,