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HomeBusinessHH's China visit pays off...as China agrees to revamp TAZARA railway

HH’s China visit pays off…as China agrees to revamp TAZARA railway

China has agreed to support the upgrade and renovation of the US$500 million TAZARA Railway.

The positive Chinese government response follows a request made by President Hakainde Hichilema in Beijing on Thursday during his six-day state visit to that country.

According to a joint communiqué issued yesterday and made available to the Times of Zambia, the support would be done in line with market and commercial principles to revamp and modernise the railway line which runs from Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia to Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania.

“China has agreed to support the upgrade and renovation of the US$500 million TAZARA Railway in line with market and commercial principles,” reads the communiqué.

The TAZARA is a multimillion dollar railway line officially opened in 1976, and the largest single item foreign-aid project ever undertaken by the Chinese government.

The communiqué also states that Zambia and China have agreed to encourage the greater use of the local currencies of the two countries in trade and investment.

The move by the two countries would help businesses of both countries reduce costs of currency exchange and lower exchange rate risks.

“The two sides will also create a favourable policy environment for promoting settlements in local currencies and support a greater role of the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) settlement bank in Zambia,” the communiqué reads in part.

The communiqué further notes that the two countries agreed to establish an investment cooperation working group mechanism to promote investment cooperation in areas such as digital economy and green development.

It also states that the Chinese government had encouraged more Chinese businesses to invest in Zambia’s manufacturing sector through partnerships to create more jobs and fulfil social responsibilities.

The Zambian Government will, according to the communiqué, further improve its business environment and provide facilitation for Chinese businesses’ investment and operation in Zambia by establishing one-stop service platforms and other means.

“The two sides will strengthen the development of economic cooperation zones,support the upgrading of those economic cooperation zones in Zambia into industrial chain and supply chain cooperation demonstration zones, and the Chinese side will support Zambia’s investment promotion activities in China for the relevant zones,” the communiqué states.

Also, Zambia and China agreed to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in mineral exploration and mining and industries aimed at value addition.

Further Chinese businesses have been encouraged to invest in Zambia’s new-energy battery value chain development to support Zambia’s efforts to upscale industrial chains and boost its capability for independent development.

The communiqué also states that the Chinese government had invited Zambia to continuously participate in the China International Import Expo. The Chinese side would actively explore the possibility of providing market access to more Zambian products and provide facilitation for holding trade promotion events in China.

The Zambian side also expressed gratitude towards China for the invitation and appreciation for the series of important measures of China on high- level opening-up.

The Chinese side encouraged well- established Chinese businesses to advance the relevant work in line with market principles.

Zambia and China also look forward to the opening of direct flight routes on an early date to further facilitate personnel exchanges.

President Hichilema, who was accompanied by the First Lady Mutinta and several Cabinet ministers, has been on a six-day State visit to China.

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