The China proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has the potential to cement Zambia-China relations and may result in sustainable economic development for the southern African nation, an economist said Thursday.

Mathews Muyembe, chairperson of the Economics Association of Zambia for the Copper belt Province Chapter, said China is looking at strengthening intra-African trade by building roads to foster development.

“Chinese are global players. They do not come into the country to dictate, as they are law-abiding citizens. They follow the laws and regulations of the countries they invest into,” he said.

He said the BRI will benefit Zambia and other African nations through improvement of infrastructure such as roads and communications.

Zambia, he said, needs more manufacturing plants to enhance development through the export of goods, including intra-African trade and beyond, to build a strong economic foundation.

According to him, Zambia as a land-locked country should enhance its economic activities through various trade corridors whose model was started by Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda during the Chinese-financed construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway in the 1970s.

Editor’s note: The article reflects the author’s opinion only, and not necessarily the views of editorial opinion of Belt & Road News.