Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened a virtual Economic Diplomacy Forum for Zambian Missions Abroad on 13th and 14th July, 2021, aimed at advancing the country’s implementation of economic diplomacy.
The two-day Forum, which focused on Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion, was supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry with participation from other Government Ministries, institutions and the private sector.
The Forum is being held in two parts and it seeks to support the Zambian Missions Abroad in the complementary role of marketing Zambia in their respective countries of accreditation, in line with Zambia’s Foreign Policy.
The meeting provides a platform for stakeholders to contribute to economic diplomacy in order to maximise the benefits that accrue to Zambia from interaction with the international community.
During the opening session of the forum, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary for International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Chalwe Lombe, noted that the Missions have worked diligently to contribute to national development by facilitating resource mobilisation, investment, trade, technology transfer, technical assistance, and other forms of development cooperation.
The Permanent Secretary implored the Missions Abroad to remain focused in their mandate, build on their achievements and reinvent their approach in the current era of the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance their promotional efforts in order to operate successfully.
The Permanent Secretary noted the challenges that Missions face in implementing economic diplomacy and urged the meeting to utilise the forum to share information and formulate mechanisms to enhance complementary efforts and create synergies.
Ambassador Lombe highlighted the Ministry’s facilitatory and complementary role in providing a platform for negotiations and high-level engagements; communication through diplomatic channels; as well as facilitating collaboration with chambers of commerce and investment promotion agencies abroad as well as inward and outward missions and enquiries.
The Permanent Secretary reiterated the Ministry’s readiness to support Missions Abroad as they advance the country’s economic diplomacy agenda.
In his remarks, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mushuma Mulenga, stated that Zambia has prioritised trade and investment as avenues for increased economic growth and contribution to the attainment of the country’s Vision 2030 and development objectives outlined in the 8th National Development Plan.
Mr. Mulenga noted that the country’s interactions and memberships place it in a position to market its products to increase exports of non-traditional products as well as strengthen foreign economic relations and deepen its integration into the global economy.
“The responsibility of ensuring that Zambia maximizes on the benefits that exist from interaction with the international trade community lies with each one of us, more especially our Missions Abroad. As a country, we need to improve on information flow of the existing trade markets. When given the opportunity, let us market the country as a tourist destination of choice, a trade hub and an investment destination of choice because we have so much to offer,” said Mr. Mulenga.
The participants at the meeting made presentations on policies, initiatives and available opportunities in trade, investment, and tourism as well as crucial aspects regarding project bidding procedures and patents and company registration.
The Forum has drawn presenters from the Ministries of Commerce, Trade and Industry; Finance; Tourism and Arts; Mines and Minerals Development; National Development Planning and Agriculture.
Apart from the various Government Ministries, other presenters are from the International Trade Centre based in Geneva, the Bank of Zambia, Patents and Companies Registration Agency, Zambia Public Procurement Authority, Zambia Development Agency, Industrial Development Corporation, Public Private Partnership Unit, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings, Zambia Tourism Agency, Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zambia Association of Manufacturers, Lusaka Multi Facility Economic Zone, and Association of Zambian Women in Mining.
Public Relations Unit
Ministry of Foreign Affairs