Shenzhen, China — ZAMBIA is working hard to increase the rate of economic growth through the development model of China’s special economic zones, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has said.
He said Zambia would emulate the Chinese culture of high achievement and commitment to country.
Mr Chikwanda, who is part of President Michael Sata’s delegation on a seven-day State visit to this country, was speaking in Shenzhen during a meeting with the mayor of the city, Xu Qin at Wuzhou Guest House.
He was accompanied to the meeting by Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda, Foreign Affairs Minister Effron Lungu, Zambia’s Ambassador to China Eva Fundafunda, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao and other senior Government officials.
He said Zambia’s economic growth needed to be at least 10 times more than its current average of six per cent per annum.
Mr Chikwanda said Shenzen’s transformation from a fishing village with a population of slightly over 400,000 to being China’s foremost high-tech hub was inspiring to Zambia.
Zambia, he said, intended to replicate the economic transformation obtaining in China by creating economic zones in different parts of the country.
“Shenzhen with a population of about 13 million has a combined Gross Domestic Product with Hong Kong of over US$200 million, which is equivalent to that of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. This is a magnificent achievement and a lesson we will take back home,” Mr Chikwanda said.
Some of the determining factors of China’s meteoric growth were innovation, determination, a culture of hard work, and commitment.
He said the Chinese success should be credited to its legendary Mao Tse Tung’s cultural revolution which inculcated into the Chinese people the importance of believing in themselves.
Mr Xu, after listening to Mr Chikwanda’s remarks, said he agreed with the observation that people were a country’s greatest resource.
He said the fact that Shenzhen’s population had shot up to 15 million showed its tremendous achievement was attributed to people from all over China.
Mr Xu said the development model of Shenzhen instituted 30 years ago was an inspiration to the rest of China.
He said he and the municipal officials of Shenzhen would pay close attention to Zambia’s development vision and management expertise.
Meanwhile, President Sata leaves Shenzhen for Beijing to wrap up his visit with a meeting with the Zambian community in China before attending a Zambia-China economic and trade forum.