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Zambia determined to strengthen trade ties with Belgium – Hon. Kalaba

http://zebru.org/images/hon.%20kalaba%20with%20belgian%20foreign%20affairs%20minister%20in%20brussels.jpgBRUSSELS, WEDNESDAY, 24TH MAY, 2017 – Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Harry Kalaba says Zambia is determined to strengthening trade ties with Belgium.
Mr Kalaba said there are a number of areas of cooperation between the two countries where trade and investment were concerned.
He said whereas Zambia’s exports comprised mainly metals and foodstuffs, Belgium’s chemicals, machinery and transport equipment are among the many areas the two countries could learn from each other and expand trade ties.
He said bilateral trade between the two countries is valued at about 363.5 million euros (US$ 396.4 million) over the period covering 2015-2016.
“The private sector has also indirectly benefited from the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries by means of its provision of a loan of 1.5 million euros to external financier, Development International Desjardins (DID) of Canada for a DID Microfinance initiative in Zambia,” Mr Kalaba said.

Mr Kalaba commended the DID Entrepreneur Financial Centre initiative, which has more than six branches and five sub-branches: serving 12,000 entrepreneurs (half of whom are women) in the cities of Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, Kafue, Chipata and Lundazi. He commended Belgium for its continued support to the education sector.
Mr Kalaba further informed the Belgian Prime Minister Mr Didier Reynders that Zambia is organising a meeting of foreign ministers under the AU peace and Security Council slated for June this year, to see how issues affecting the Great Lakes region could be addressed.
And Mr Reynders said Belgium was equally looking forward to strengthening trade, investment and bilateral relations with Zambia. He said Belgium wants to increase its investments in Zambia’s mining and construction sectors.
Mr Reynders said one of the mechanisms Belgium is employing to improving trade relations was increased trade missions, and pledged to send a delegation to Zambia next year to cement relations.
He said his country is also ready to offer training in diplomacy to Zambian diplomats to strengthen bilateral relations and give them an avenue to understand diplomacy at European Union (EU) level.
Mr Reynders, who is also Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, commended Zambia for taking up the chairmanship of the Africa Union Peace and Security Council, and has since extended an invitation to Zambia to take part in the mediation conference which Belgium has organised.


Issued by:                                                                              

Lambwe Kachali [Mr]
First Secretary (Press & Public Relations)

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