Zambia and China agree to use their national currencies for trade

Lusaka and Beijing stress that the use of local currencies for bilateral trade payments and investment financing is aimed in particular at reducing exchange costs.

Zambia and China have agreed to use their national currencies to settle trade and finance bilateral investments, according to a joint declaration issued on Friday, September 15, on the sidelines of the state visit of Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema to Beijing.

Announced following a meeting between the Zambian leader and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, this measure is aimed in particular at “reducing exchange costs”, according to the same source.

Lusaka and Beijing also announced the upgrading of their bilateral relations to the level of “comprehensive strategic partnership” and the strengthening of their cooperation in the field of mining exploration.

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On September 10, Mr. Hichilema began his first state visit to China since coming to power in 2021. He has been heavily criticized locally for his frequent visits to Western countries, to the detriment of weaker ties with China, which is Lusaka’s largest bilateral creditor.

According to the think tank American Enterprise Institute, China has also invested over $11.3 billion in infrastructure projects in Zambia between 2014 and 2023, as part of the “New Silk Roads” initiative.

The Middle Kingdom absorbs around 20% of this southern African country’s exports.

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