New Delhi, August 19: President of the Republic of Zambia Edgar Chagwa Lungu is visiting India from August 20 to 22. This is the first visit at the level of Head of State from Africa after formation of the new Government and the first-ever visit of President Lungu to India. The visit is significant in the context of India’s Africa outreach policy.
President Lungu would be accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister for Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji; Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma; Minister for Mines and Mineral Development Richard Musukwa; Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe and senior Government officials.
The official programme of President Lungu mainly includes meeting with the President and delegation level talks with Prime Minister. A Banquet will be hosted by President Kovind in honour of the visiting President. President Lungu will also participate in an India- Zambia Business Forum in New Delhi.
The bilateral talks are expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations and expected to cover issues of bilateral, regional and international interest. The discussion is likely to focus on cooperation in defence, security, geology and mineral resources, energy, health, education, infrastructure, culture, trade and investment related issues.
In the last 5 years, India has had 32 outgoing visits at the level of President, Vice President and PM and nearly 100 incoming visits of African HoS/HoG.
India and Zambia enjoy close and friendly bilateral relations. The bilateral trade has grown steadily. In 2018-19 the bilateral trade was close to US$ 830 million. India primarily imports copper from Zambia. Zambia is the second largest producer of copper in Africa. Zambia is also beneficiary of India’s Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme. With investments of over US$ 5 billion, mostly in the mining sector, India is one of the largest investor in Zambia.
India has provided considerable economic assistance to Zambia in the form of grants and credits. Zambia also avails large number of our ITEC, ICCR and IAFS scholarships. India and Zambia defence cooperation includes training and capacity building. Zambia has a large and vibrant Indian community of around 25,000 PIOs/NRIs that contributes to Zambian economy.
The State visit of President Lungu will provide an opportunity to further energize India’s mutually beneficial partnership with Zambia.