PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says the UPND government’s main agenda is to rebuild the country’s economy.

Speaking before departure to the United Arab Emirates where he is scheduled to grace the National Day of the Republic of Zambia at the World Expo 2020 Dubai, President Hichilema said to rebuild the country’s economy, there was need to focus on trade and investment.

“The thing is that we set out an agenda to rebuild the country’s economy. So to do that, we need to focus on investments and trade so that we get the economy going so that we can get jobs. That is the focal point and that is the agenda we are on because if you check from 2016, the country’s economy went down, we were not creating jobs. So our job is to bring it up and going to the expo in Dubai, which has been going on by the way for sometime, is to really market and sell Zambia’s investment potential, looking for partners, looking for investments that can also work with the Zambian people, so that we can create the jobs and business opportunities. In a nutshell, I am the chief salesman for the country. So we are living by what we pronounced,” he said.

He said the country was facing many challenges.

“We have many issues that are challenging us now. One of them really is the state of our financial situation. The heavy debt that we have, we are looking at how we can use such platforms, as you know, Dubai is also becoming a strong financial centre, so that we can work towards restructuring our debt to lower the cost of debt service and shift resources into investment and into trade. Obviously, you know that is a wealthier area in the region, we can have issues basically of tourism. We understand the COVID situation but sooner or later, it will tail down. So we need to get ready for that. We are looking at investment and value addition in the mining sector, including green energy,” said President Hichilema.

“As you know after COP26 Glasgow we committed ourselves to developing more green energy and I am sure you all understand what green energy is, that is energy which is environmentally friendly. Now we have come to accept that climate change is real and we must among other things ameliorate the negative impact of climate change. This is our intent, very clear intent and all the time looking at how whatever we are doing is going to help the economy, is going to help Zambia. Ultimately, that is what those who seek public office like us are elected to do, nothing else interests of the people of Zambia.”