Sunday, May 3, 2009

President R. BANDA declaration for the 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR

April 30th, 2009

YOUR EXCELLENCY, MR. ROBERT MUGABE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE,

CABINET MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLICS OF ZIMBABWE AND ZAMBIA

YOUR EXCELLENCIES, AMBASSADORS ACCREDITED TO THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE,

SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

YOUR EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE, I WISH TO THANK YOU FOR EXTENDING AN INVITATION FOR ME TO OFFICIATE AT THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR.

I ALSO WISH TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE, FOR THE WARM WELCOME AND HOSPITALITY ACCORDED TO ME AND MY DELEGATION BY THE ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE.

MAY I ACKNOWLEDGE AND RE-AFFIRM THE WARM AND CORDIAL BILATERAL RELATIONS THAT EXIST BETWEEN ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE.

I AM SATISFIED WITH THE LEVEL OF INTERACTION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES AND I WISH TO CALL FOR THE DEEPENING OF ECONOMIC RELATIONS FOR THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF BOTH COUNTRIES.

2.2 ZIMBABWE’S ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

MAY I ACKNOWLEDGE THE EFFORTS ZIMBABWE IS MAKING IN TRYING TO IMPROVE THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN ORDER TO IMPROVE THE WELL BEING OF THE PEOPLE. I COMMEND YOUR EXCELLENCY FOR THE GOVERNMENT’S WELL-ARTICULATED ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

I WISH TO ASSURE YOU THAT ZAMBIA WILL SUPPORT ZIMBABWE’S EFFORTS BILATERALLY, REGIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY, DESPITE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS.

I WISH TO RE-AFFIRM ZAMBIA’S COMMITMENT TO CONTRIBUTING TO THE SHORT TERM EMERGENCY RECOVERY PROGRAMME (STERP) IN ORDER TO ASSIST OUR ZIMBABWEAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

FOLLOWING THE SADC EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT IN SWAZILAND, IS URGING COUNTRIES TO LIFT SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON ZIMBABWE.

THE LIFTING OF SANCTIONS WILL HELP FACILITATE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PROGRAMME.

WE ARE IMPRESSED THAT THE LEADERSHIP IN ZIMBABWE IS STICKING IMPLEMENTING THE GLOBAL AGREEMENT SIGNED BETWEEN THE POLITICAL PARTIES TO THE LETTER SO AS TO DISPEL DOUBTS WITHIN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ABOUT THE SUCCESS OF THE UNITY GOVERNMENT.

2.3 BILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS

YOUR EXCELLENCY, I AM SATISFIED WITH THE FACT THAT UNDER THE JOINT COMMISSION OF COOPERATION (JPC), ESTABLISHED OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO, THE TWO COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IMPLEMENT PROJECTS, SHARE AND EXCHANGE EXPERIENCES THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO BOTH THE REGIONAL AND OUR NATIONAL PROGRAMMES FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION. ONE SUCH PROJECT IS THE ONE STOP BORDER POST AT CHIRUNDU.

THROUGH THE EXISTING JPC, ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE ARE IMPLEMENTING INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS THAT WILL GO A LONG WAY IN REDUCING THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS AND ENHANCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THESE INCLUDE, INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AT BORDER POSTS AND ENHANCING ENERGY GENERATING CAPACITIES. THERE IS NEED FOR RENEWED VIGOUR IN IMPLEMENTING THESE PROGRAMMES.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

WE NEED TO OFFICIALLY LAUNCH THE CHIRUNDU ONE STOP BORDER POST FACILITIES LATER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THE TWO COUNTRIES SHOULD CONTINUE TO COOPERATE AND FULLY EXPLOIT THEIR ECONOMIC POTENTIALS. IN THIS REGARD, IT IS A GOOD THING THAT WE INCREASE TRADE AND INVESTMENT AND PARTICIPATE IN EACH OTHER’S TRADE FAIRS.

2.5 REGIONAL ECONOMIC ISSUES

ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE, AS WELL AS MOST OF THE REGION FACE THE COMMON CHALLENGE OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT, CHARACTERISED BY HIGH LEVELS OF POVERTY, HENCE THERE IS NEED FOR BOTH COUNTRIES TO WORK TOGETHER IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT REGIONAL INTEGRATION FACILITATES ENHANCE ECONOMIC GROWTH; REDUCE POVERTY LEVELS; IMPROVE INFRASTRUCTURE; INCREASE INTRA-REGIONAL TRADE; ENHANCE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY; PEACE AND SECURITY; AND GOOD GOVERNANCE.

ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE SHOULD CONTINUE TO COOPERATE AT REGIONAL, CONTINENTAL AND INTERNATIONAL FORA, IN ORDER TO ENSURE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, PARTICULARLY IN THE SECTORS OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRADE AND AGRICULTURE.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

BOTH ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE ARE MEMBERS OF COMESA AND SADC AND, THEREFORE, FACE THE SAME CHALLENGE OF OVERLAPPING MEMBERSHIP. IN THIS REGARD, THE TWO COUNTRIES ARE SUPPORTING THE EFFORTS THAT ARE ALREADY BEING MADE THROUGH THE TRIPARTITE FRAMEWORK TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAMMES OF COMESA, EAC AND SADC, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS OF TRADE AND CUSTOMS, WHICH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE REALIZATION OF THE AFRICAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY.

ZAMBIA RECENTLY HOSTED A TRIPARTITE HIGH LEVEL RESOURCE MOBILISATION CONFERENCE ON THE NORTH SOUTH CORRIDOR, AIMED AT REDUCING THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS BY IMPROVING THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND BORDER FACILITIES, AMONG OTHER FACILITIES. ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE, WHICH ARE CRITICAL LINKS TO THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN PORTS, SHOULD CLOSELY COLLABORATE TO MAKE THIS PROCESS A SUCCESS.

IN ADDITION, ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE HAVE SIMILAR INTERESTS IN ZAMBEZI WATERCOURSE COMMISSION (ZAMCOM) AGREEMENT. WE SHOULD LOBBY SADC MEMBER STATES TO SORT OUT CONTENTIOUS ISSUES IN THE AGREEMENT BEFORE IT COMES INTO FORCE.

3.0 CONCLUSION

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

I WISH TO ONCE AGAIN ASSURE YOU OF ZAMBIA’S COMMITMENT TO STRENGTHENING THE BILATERAL COOPERATION WE HAVE FOR THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF THE TWO COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES. THIS IS HOW IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN, AND THIS IS HOW IT SHALL AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE.

MAY I AGAIN EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE FOR THE INVITATION TO OFFICIATE AT THE ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR. I EXTEND AN INVITATION TO ZIMBABWEAN COMPANIES TO COME AND PARTICIPATE IN THE ZAMBIA INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR, SCHEDULED FOR 1ST TO 7TH JULY 2009 IN NDOLA.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

I NOW HAVE THE PLEASURE AND THE SINGULAR HONOUR TO INVITE YOU TO JOIN ME IN PROPOSING A TOAST TO:

THE CONTINUED GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. ROBERT MUGABE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, AND MRS. MUGABE.

PRESIDENT BANDA SAID THIS IN HARARE ON WEDNESDAY DURING A BANQUET IN HIS HONOUR BY PRESIDENT MUGABE.