By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –
THE Zambia-China trade volumes increased to US$3.8 billion in 2013 from the $3.4 billion recorded the previous year, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao has said.
Mr Zhou said Chinese investment into Zambia increased to about $130 million last year excluding loans and aid.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Zhou said the trade volumes between Zambia and China stood at $3.8 billion last year compared to $3.4billion posted in 2012.
He projected that the trade volumes would increase this year due to continued trade ties between the two countries.
“We hit an all-time high and trade figures have reached $3.8 billion in 2013 from the $3.4 billion in 2012,” he said.
Mr Zhou said China last year exported between $600 million and $ 700 million worth of goods to Zambia.
On the other hand, Zambia exported about $3.2 billion into China with copper as a major export product.
“Zambia is enjoying a big trade surplus with China…..it is more than US$3 billion and that is a huge increase and I am glad.
“We have created a win-win situation because the copper we buy helps China develop its industries while, it is good for Zambia because it helps the country maintain the level of development in the mining industry,” Mr Zhou said.
He said the investment had gradually increased.
“I am happy to see our investment increasing gradually….not very fast but gradually and our aid is also increasing to Zambia and loans are increasing but as far as loans are concerned we cannot increase too fast because we don’t want the country to go back into a debt trap,” he said.
Mr Zhou said China remains an active partner in the economic
development of Zambia saying that Chinese firms invested in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, manufacturing, retail and construction.
“As Chinese ambassador I will continue working very hard to promote the bilateral cooperation in every field between the two countries and as we celebrate Zambia’s 50th anniversary and also our bilateral relationship,” he said.
He said China stood ready to invest $500 billion in overseas in the next five years and intended to send 400 million tourists abroad.