China-Zambia economic cooperation, by the means of investment, trade and assistance, has made abundant achievements over the past years, a Zambian official said.
Chibwe Chisala, an official in charge of foreign investment at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, said in an interview with Xinhua Tuesday that all-weather friendship between the two countries has created very good environment for boosting investment, trade and cooperative projects.
Chisala also said lots of Chinese firms have invested in Zambia, promoting local economies and creating thousands of jobs.
All these achievements are a result of concerted efforts by both the Chinese and Zambian governments, enterprises and peoples, he said.
By the end of 2010, China's total investment in Zambia reached about 2 billion U.S. dollars, making China the third largest investor in Zambia. Total bilateral trade topped 2.5 billion dollars in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 97 percent.
So far, there are around 300 Chinese companies operating in Zambia in the sectors of mining, manufacturing, agriculture, trade, infrastructure, tourism, technology, telecommunications, among others.
Chinese investment has created more than 25,000 jobs for locals, according to statistics from the Zambian Investment Center.
Chisala said there has been a lot of development taking place in the country as a result of cooperation with China in the fields of massive infrastructure construction and telecommunications.
Meanwhile, he said China has helped Zambia construct hospitals and schools, which offer local patients better facilities in health care and students a good condition for education.
Funding of the projects is guaranteed by low-interest loans from China, the official said.
"The only place I know where loan comes in with no interest or a very low interest rate is China," he said.
This led to the fruitful trade and prosperous economic cooperation between the two sides, he noted.
All the cooperative projects are much needed by Zambia, he said.
Chisala, also an economist on international trade cooperation, said high-quality and reasonable costs of these projects have enabled this southern African country to grow at a faster pace.
"As you are aware, Zambia is a very active participant of FOCAC (the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation), which is a platform where African countries share developmental ideas with China," he said.
As a fruit of FOCAC, a new ultra-modern stadium is being built in the suburbs of the Zambian capital city Lusaka, the official said, adding the stadium is going to be a key landmark not just of Zambia, but southern Africa as a whole.
Chisala said within the FOCAC framework, there have been a lot of benefits recorded in Zambia, such as the establishment of the Zambia-China Economic and Trade and Cooperation Zone in north Zambia's Copperbelt Province.
"The zone will provide an excellent exchange platform between Chinese and Zambian enterprises for further and better industrial, business, trade and economic cooperation," he added.