According to a statement released on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic, the conversation between both leaders took place on Tuesday morning, and focused on bilateral and international issues of common interest.
In the contact, which included the participation of the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edmondo Cirielli, a review was made of the current state of relations between both countries, and the ways to strengthen them in the coming years.
Hichilema’s visit to Italy aims to strengthen ties fundamentally in strategic economic areas, in accordance with what was discussed by both leaders during Mattarella’s visit to Zambia in July 2022, the first to that country by the head of state of a member country of the European Union.
Italy aspires to have an important long-term presence in that African country with the granting of important credits for the execution of infrastructure projects, analysts say, on the basis of the bilateral Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investments signed in February 2014. .
Zambia represents for Italy a market of relative importance from a commercial point of view, with regard to capital goods and intermediate products for industry, as well as in the field of machine tools, fertilizers for agriculture and means of transportation, observers emphasize.
During his speech at a Zambia-Italy Business Forum, taking place today in Rome, Hichilema expressed that “the continent of the future is Africa, but its development cannot ignore Western technologies.”
“With Italy we work as partners in many sectors, we want to continue doing so,” he said, and highlighted the importance of the accession of the African Union to the Group of 20 (G20).
«We need to put our resources to the benefit of Africans and our development. Come and invest in Zambia, bring your technologies. Africa must develop its economy, create local added value. “Our continent wants to develop in partnership with the West,” added the Zambian president.