Zhang Lizhong, the newly appointed Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Uganda has presented copies of his credentials to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo.
This was during a function held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Kampala.
Speaking at the function, Minister Odongo welcomed the new Ambassador but also commended China for the “excellent” relations between the two countries that he said have grown over the years.
Odongo noted that both countries have exchanged high-level visits and enhanced cooperation in different fields such as the implementation of several infrastructural projects like roads, power dams and development of industrial parks whereas the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) remains a priority project for both governments.
In regard to bilateral trade and investment, the minister noted that China is now the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment for Uganda, underscoring the country’s desire to enhance connectivity and boost trade by introducing direct air flights from Uganda to China (Guangzhou).
He urged the Chinese government to expedite the clearance procedures of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement for Uganda Airlines to operate direct flights to China.
At a multilateral level, Odongo noted that both Uganda and China continue to work together in providing support to each other on issues of core interest and major concerns.
Speaking at the same function, Zhang applauded Uganda for always welcoming people from China
He further reiterated that the relations between China and Uganda are historic since inception in 1962 and continue to grow from strength to strength and was quick to attribute the same to the presidents of both countries.
The new ambassador noted that both countries are strengthening bilateral ties in the political, security, economic, social, cultural and scientific fields and several agreements and MoUs have been signed between Uganda and different Chinese government ministries, provincial governments and companies in various fields like agriculture, education, health, infrastructure development and science and technology.
He mentioned several projects where both countries have worked together including the completion of the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, the 183MW Isimba Hydro Power Plant and ongoing construction of the Karuma Hydro Power Plant, ongoing expansion of the Entebbe International Airport and the completion of three phases of the National ICT backbone project.
The new Chinese ambassador reiterated his government’s commitment to continue supporting efforts to fight Covid-19 in Uganda.