India, Zambia sign 6 pacts; strengthen cooperation in defence, mineral resources

India and Zambia signed six agreements in key sectors such as mineral resources and defence after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu held wide-ranging talks to strengthen ties. 

The two leaders also deliberated upon enhancing trade and investment, as well as deepening development cooperation. 

‘Reliable partner’ 

Prime Minister Modi, at a joint press statement with President Lungu, said as a reliable partner in development cooperation, India has been sharing its developmental experiences with Zambia. He noted the progress made in projects related to health, power generation as well as easing traffic in the Zambian capital Lusaka, with cooperation from India. 

Modi said that both the countries will increase their participation in the fields of healthcare, tourism, agriculture, food processing and mining. 

After the delegation-level talks, Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed between the two sides on cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources, defence, and arts and culture. 

A MoU was signed between Foreign Service Institute of India and Zambian Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies. Also, two agreements were inked on ‘E-VBAB Network Project’ (e-education) as well as between Election Commission of India and Electoral Commission of Zambia. 

Modi said the Indian government will cooperate in setting up an Incubation Centre in Zambia. 

“India will also provide 100 solar irrigation pumps to boost agriculture and send 1,000 tonnes of rice as well as 100 tonnes of milk powder to Zambia,” he said. “Zambia is a country rich in mineral wealth and among other minerals, India takes large quantities of copper from the African country,” he added. 

Enhancing cooperation 

Modi said the MoU on mineral resources will enhance cooperation in the field of mining and a framework will be built for exploration and extraction of mineral resources. 

Underlining that an important MOU has been signed on defence cooperation, Modi said it will increase exchanges in the field of defence. 

Indian military and air-force training teams will be deployed in Zambia to assist in enhancing the capabilities of the armed forces of that country, the prime minister said, adding India will also deploy five fire tenders in Zambia Air force bases. 

Lungu arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday on a three-day visit to India.

@The Hindu Business Line

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