Press Conference Remarks by President Jacob Zuma after official talks with President Edgar Lungu of the Republic of Zambia, on the occasion of the State Visit to South Africa by President Lungu, 8 December 2016
Your Excellency President Lungu
Members of the Media
Allow me, to firstly express my heartfelt gratitude to my dear brother, His Excellency President Lungu for accepting my invitation for a State visit to South Africa.
The State visit is a further manifestation of the depth of relations between South Africa and Zambia.
South Africa attaches great importance to her historical relations with Zambia.
These relations date well back to the period of our liberation struggle when Zambia sacrificially hosted the Headquarters of the African National Congress in those difficult times.
Our bilateral cooperation has grown, deepened and matured over the years. This State Visit has provided an opportunity to reflect on these relations, and also to further deepen them, for the common good of our peoples.
We have just concluded successful deliberations with His Excellency, President Lungu.
During our deliberations we discussed various issues of mutual interest. We are happy with the ever expanding cooperation.
There are twenty-one (21) Agreements and Memoranda of understanding between the two countries, covering a wide range of fields.
We have emphasised the need to implement all these agreements.
We welcomed the inauguration of the Joint Commission for Cooperation was launched yesterday, on 7 December 2016 under the stewardship of our Ministers. This instrument will be utilised to ensure ongoing work and implementation of our agreements and other areas of cooperation.
We have committed both our governments to strengthen cooperation on trade and investment, science and technology, agriculture, defence, energy and culture.
We further committed to actively encourage both South African and Zambian companies to take full advantage of the excellent, historical political ties between our two countries to increase economic activities.
We further reaffirmed our commitment to focus on economic cooperation and have agreed to work together to identify specific areas in which South African and Zambian companies can do business.
The South Africa-Zambia Business Partnership Forum which is currently meeting at Freedom Park here in Tshwane. It presents yet another initiative to strengthen existing cooperation and further explore new areas for growth.
On the regional sphere, we have welcomed the fact that our region is relatively peaceful and stable.
We committed ourselves to working together to assist those sister countries facing political and security challenges.
We also called for the implementation of SADC industrialisation strategy to create industrial capacity and value chains.
We noted with concern the current drought in our region and pledged to work closely to mitigate its negative impact.
On the international front, we have noted latest global developments and agreed to continue sharing notes in this regard.
Following our fruitful discussions of today, it is clear to me that we have further laid a firm and solid foundation to take our relations to a much higher level.
Our historical bonds demand of us to do just that.
Our focus should also cover the people to people cooperation between our two countries.
Cultural, educational and scientific exchanges should be encouraged in order uphold our common heritage.
I Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen for your attention.
Issued by The Presidency