Zambian entrepreneurs are giving their endeavours to forge partnerships with Chinese firms to acquire technology and skills transfer.
Noah Sichalwe, a farmer in the peri-urban areas in Chingola, said economic growth is key to Zambia's trajectory growth path. "Even in farming on a commercial basis, there should be partnerships with countries like China that are able to provide the technical know-how in farming activities for the growth of the sector," he said. Sichalwe recalled that China provided long grain rice that is grown in the Western province. "Zambia's agricultural potential should be utilized to the fullest being the second major employer in the country," he added.
FS Musonda Trading Limited, a Chingola based enterprise, is among local companies that have forged partnerships with a Chinese company. The Zambian firm has since entered into a partnership with Fawell Limited, a Chinese Company which deals in electrical overhead processing cranes. The partnership will see the Zambian firm become an agent of the Chinese firm in the marketing of electrical overhead processing cranes for the mining industry in Zambia. The Chinese firm will also train the staff of the local firm on repairing and maintenance of the equipment. "For the last five years, I have been testing the strength of the equipment on the Zambian market in about five mines. It has performed exceptionally well like the machinery from America and Europe," said Fred Musonda, managing director of FS Musonda Trading Limited.
Musonda said Chinese machinery are cost effective and energy efficient, which will result in low-cost production. Musonda, who is also president of the Chingola Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said partnering with the Chinese firm has changed the status of his company, adding that it's a lifetime investment. He also encouraged members of the chamber and Zambians as a whole to forge such partnerships, Xinhua reported.
Japhen Mwakalombe, Minister of Copperbelt Province, said forging partnerships with the Chinese by local entrepreneurs is a welcome move that will benefit both sides. The Zambian minister said China and Zambia have historical bilateral ties dating as far back the time Zambia gained independence from colonial rule. "Zambians' partnering with Chinese firms will open up doors for enhanced business activities as the Chinese have the expertise in various economic fields," he said.
Mwakalombe urged Zambians working in the manufacturing sector, in particular, to come forward and partner with their counterparts in China for enhanced economic activities, as reported by Xinhua.