India-Zambia Joint Statement during State Visit of President to Zambia (April 10-12, 2018)
April 13, 2018
- At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India, undertook a State Visit to Zambia from 10th – 12th April, 2018.
- His Excellency President Kovind was accompanied by his spouse Mrs. Savita Kovind and Mr. Mansukh L. Mandavia, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemical and Fertilisers; two Members of Parliament namely, Dr. Ponnusamy Venugopal and Dr. Yashwant Singh and other Senior Government Officials.
- During the Bilateral Talks, the two leaders acknowledged the longstanding excellent relations between Zambia and India and reaffirmed the mutual desire to further strengthen economic, commercial, technical, educational and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
- His Excellency President Lungu expressed gratitude to his counterpart for the Indian Government’s support provided on a bilateral level as well as under the framework of the India-Africa Forum Summit, in the fields of energy, health, infrastructure, capacity building, agriculture, and trade, to mention but a few.
- H.E. Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia warmly recalled the contribution of India towards capacity building of Zambian Defense Forces. He expressed a desire to revitalize cooperation in the Defense sector and sought further assistance for training of defense personnel, given India’s experience and expertise in that area.
- His Excellency President Kovind announced the Indian Government’s intention to support Zambia’s hospitality industry and conference tourism by constructing the "Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre” in Lusaka, which Zambia welcomed.
- In addition, the Indian Government announced support to the health and education sectors of Zambia through the provision of medicines and medical equipment worth $3million, as well as $100,000 to renovate the Mahatma Gandhi Primary School, respectively.
- Further, His Excellency President Kovind welcomed Zambia’s signing of the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement that is aimed at accelerating the use of solar energy through financing and implementation of priority projects in member countries.
- Both Leaders discussed the positive impact of cooperation in areas of power generation. In this regard, His Excellency President Kovind expressed India’s readiness to offer assistance to Zambia in the area of biomass gasifier source of energy.
- The two Heads of State agreed to revive the meetings of the Joint Permanent Commission in order to further strengthen bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit to the two nations.
- The two Leaders agreed to intensify cooperation at the United Nations and other multilateral fora in order to address current global challenges such as climate change, peace, security and sustainable development.
- The two Leaders underscored the need for urgent reforms of the UN Security Council, including its expansion in both the categories of membership, to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the geo-political realities of the 21st Century.
- The two leaders unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed the importance of international efforts to prevent and fight the scourge of terrorism. It was agreed that resolute and credible steps must be taken to eliminate safe havens for terrorists and their activities.
- During the visit, the two Leaders witnessed the signing of four Agreements, namely the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation; Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of the Entrepreneurship Cooperative Development Centre in Zambia; MoU on the Exemption of Visa Requirement for Holders of Diplomatic Passports; and MoU on Judicial Cooperation.
- In addition, during the visit both Heads of State participated in the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Lusaka City Roads Decongestion Project, which will be implemented with support from the Indian Government.
- Both Leaders acknowledged the steady inflow of private investment to Zambia, which stood at over US$ 5 billion, notably in sectors of mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. They noted with satisfaction the steady increase in bilateral trade, which stood at US$1.2 billion from April 2017 to January 2018 and stressed the need to enhance this even further.
- In addressing a meeting of the business community from India and Zambia, which included officials from various chambers of commerce in India, the two Leaders agreed to enhance trade and investment between the two countries, accordingly.
- H.E. President Kovind noted with satisfaction that the Indian diaspora in Zambia who have been living for several generations throughout Zambia, was well integrated into Zambia’s social and economic fabric.
- Overall, the State Visit marked the beginning of a new era of cooperation between the two countries and was an important step in the enhancement of bilateral relations.
- His Excellency Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India, expressed gratitude to H.E. Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, for the warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation and extended an invitation to him to visit India.
April 12, 2018