A HIGH-POWERED Chinese delegation has expressed interest in exploring available business and investment opportunities in Kitwe. The delegation from Shunyi district in Beijing, is led by Shunyi district senior advisor, Wang Gang, with the view of partnering with the City of Kitwe to foster development. Mr Wang said the Chinese government was an all-weather friend of Zambia for so many years and the business visit would encourage more Chinese investment in Kitwe for the benefit of residents. He said some of the critical areas that the Chinese investors were interested in included agriculture, construction, manufacturing and the establishment of industrial parks. The delegation leader said Zambia had a lot of natural resources which could transform the country into an economic power house of Africa if properly harnessed. Mr Wang said Kitwe had the potential of becoming a great city once it partnered with Shunyi district because it was the hub of the Copperbelt. Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Kitwe mayor Christopher Kang’ombe yesterday, Mr Wang said he had since invited the mayor and his team to visit China to get first-hand experience on how operations and the administration of Shunyi district were done. He assured the mayor that during his visit to China a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed between Kitwe City Council and Shunyi district. Shunyi district is an administrative district of Beijing, located outside of the city. Its population is around 983, 000 of which 601 000 have local residence permits. Mr Kang’ombe described the visit as timely and assured the Chinese delegation that his team would quickly look at the available investment opportunities because Kitwe has enough land to accommodate foreign investment. He said the city was privileged to have 17,000 hectares of land across the Mufuchani Bridge which could be used for investment and he would ensure that the local authority ascertained on how much of it was currently available for development purposes. The mayor said that Kitwe city has a housing deficit of 2 million units, hence the Chinese should consider entering into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement where they could venture into the construction of affordable houses for the local people. Mr Kang’ombe hoped that the investment if fully realized would provide skills training for the residents, thereby translating into job creation and empowerment of the people.