Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country can aid Zambia to diversify its economy and achieve the goals of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
President Erdogan, has also reiterated Turkey’s commitment to cooperate with Zambia in various economic fields for the benefit of the two countries.
And President Edgar Lungu has described the state visit by Turkish President as historic, adding that Zambia will take advantage of the visit to enhance collaboration between the two countries.
ZANIS reports that the two Heads of state said this during bilateral talks between Turkey and Zambia at state house.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has requested Turkey to help Zambia repay a 3 billion United States Dollars Eurobond it borrowed from international lenders.
“We have information that a Turkish firm has offered to help Zambia repay the loan. “ We urge you your excellence to encourage the firm to come to our aid,” the President said.
President Lungu said Zambia will study how Turkey has managed to develop its economy in its quest to be a middle income country by 2030.
He urged Turkish companies to take advantage of Zambia’s conducive atmosphere and political stability to invest in the country.
“The market for products in Zambia is readily available both locally and abroad because of the country’s central location in the region,” President Lungu emphasized.
The President said in order to boost agriculture, the country has identified a farming block totaling 1,000 hectares of land for livestock farming and fisheries.
He further paid gratitude to Turkey for the role it is playing in promoting peace and the fight against terrorism in the word.
“I know that your country is hosting 3 million refugees especially from Syria at a great cost which is not easy while, Zambia is struggling to host just 73,000 refugees from war torn neighboring countries,” President Lungu said.
And President Erdogan said Zambia stood out to be a model for the entire African states in the establishment of democratic institutions and peace.
He disclosed that by December this year, Turkish airline will start flying direct from Turkey into Zambia.
“We can do a lot together, we can build dams which can provide safe drinking water, energy generation and for agriculture purposes,” President Erdogan said.
And Zambia has signed twelve memorandum of understandings with the Turkish government in various fields that included an agreement which aims to establish the program coordination office of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), which was signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Joe Malanji.
Others were agreement on mutual obligation of visas for holders of diplomatic passports, agriculture, Fisheries and livestock, promotion and protection of investments, tourism and arts, youth and sport and the field of media.
President Erdogan is the first Turkish President to visit Zambia.