By Mwila Chansa, Tuesday June 17, 2008
FOREIGN affairs minister Kabinga Pande has said Zambia's interaction with the international community must be premised on the need to maximise economic benefits associated with globalisation such as trade and investment.
And Pande said Zambia planned to open more missions in strategic regions in the world to enhance political and economic relations.
During the opening of the heads of missions' conference at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka yesterday, Pande said the emphasis on economic diplomacy, which mainly referred to promoting economic relations not only among states but also with non-state actors such as the business community and civil society to enhance economic development, had changed the face of international relations world-over.
Pande also said attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) would occupy centre stage in the country's foreign interactions, adding that the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) stressed the need for continued strengthening of the country's role in the global community focusing primarily on positive interventions and policies articulated at fora such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
He said the country also realised the need to participate fully in regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) that were building blocks towards full integration into the world economy.
Pande said Zambia would also continue supporting initiatives such as the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
And Pande said the ministry hoped to have trade attachés in all missions where it felt that they were needed by the end of the year.
Pande said once the trade attachés were posted, the ministry wanted to see clear results coming out of those missions to justify their existence.