PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is on Thursday expected in China for his inaugural State visit to the Asian country that will see him be part of world leaders to attend the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) conference in Sanya, Hainan Province, to advance Zambia’s economic integration with other countries.
Mr Lungu, who will be accompanied by First Lady Esther, will arrive in Shanghai from which he will proceed to Sanya on Friday in readiness for the Boao Forum for Asia conference which has since its inauguration drawn extensive attention from countries across the globe because of its developmental and environmental protection agenda.
According to a programme obtained in Sanya yesterday, the Head of State will be received at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai by Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe, deputy Secretary to Cabinet Peter Kasanda and Zambia’s ambassador to China Gertrude Mwape.
President Lungu will be guest at the MGM Grand Sanya, an exotic and elegant hotel nestled on the Yalong Bay National Resort in South-East China.
The Boao Forum for Asia idea was mooted in 1998 by former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke and was only inaugurated in 2001 and has been the world’s investment and development forum not only for Asian countries but also Africa and other continents.
The Boao Forum for Asia has since become a high-end platform for dialogue among world leaders and governments on industrial, business and academic circles and President Lungu will be among the leaders who will address the conference on Saturday morning
The BFA is anchored at deepening economic exchange, coordination and cooperation within Asia and other countries across the globe and the forum that opens on Saturday this week has attracted many countries prospecting to expand their economies.
The 2015 Boao Forum for Asia is being held under the theme “Asia’s New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny”.
On Monday next week, President Lungu will hold bilateral meetings with other leaders before leaving for Bejing, the Chinese capital where he will hold bilateral talks with Xi Jinping, the Chinese President.
The Head of State with his Chinese counterpart are expected to sign bilateral agreements after which a banquet will be held in his honour at the Great Hall of the People-Golden Hall before laying a wreath at Chairman Mao’s the People’s Heroes Monument.
The President will have a meeting on the same day with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People and later meet with the chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Yu Zhengsheng.
While in Bejing, President Lungu will take the opportunity to meet with the Zambian community in China at Kampinski Hotel.
The Head of State will on Tuesday next week tour the China Nonferous Metal Mining Cooperation, a Chinese, the owners of Chambishi Metals and Luanshya Mine after which he will address the Zambia-China Economic, Trade and Tourism Forum.
He will sign agreements apart from having possible bilateral meetings Chinese companies prospecting to invest in Zambia.
In winding up his tour of duty in China, President Lungu will on Wednesday next week be in Shenzen (“snake’s mouth”) where he will tour Shekou Industrial Park; a special economic zone in China perched at the tip of Nantou Penisula. The Head of State will hold a meeting with Huawei and ZTE, the companies that manufacture mobile phones before meeting the leaders of Shenzhen Municipality who will honour him with a banquet.
President Lungu will return home on Thursday next week through Shanghai.