By REBECCA MUSHOTA –
ZAMBIA and France have pledged to further strengthen relations by taking measures to increase trade between the two countries.
Outgoing French Ambassador to Zambia Emmanuel Cohet said he was happy that ties between Zambia and France were strong, but said that there was still room for more growth.
Mr Cohet said a number of new French companies were operating in Zambia, a development that had helped increase trade between the two countries.
He said this last Friday when he hosted diplomats and other guests at his residence to commemorate the French National Day.
“I am happy that there are more French companies operating in Zambia now, but there are still more opportunities for the French and Zambian businesses in various sectors,” Mr Cohet said.
He said France was committed to continue supporting Zambia in different sectors, including addressing the negative effects of climate change.
Mr Cohet said he was confident that Zambia would rise above all challenges that the country was facing because it was a nation capable of doing so.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe said relations between Zambia and France had grown year after year.
“France has proven to be a dependable partner in various sectors, especially in climate change and trade,” Ms Mwanakatwe said.
She said Mr Cohet had tremendously contributed to the growth of relations of the two countries with the highlight being President Edgar Lungu’s visit to France in February 2016.
After that, she said, a number of French ministers and delegates had travelled to Zambia to sign follow-up agreements.
Ms Mwanakatwe said she was confident that relations between Zambia and France would sour because of the various measures the two governments had put in place.