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APA-Abuja (Nigera) The global financial crisis has affected Zambian economy to the extent that the price of copper has come down to $3,300 from $8,000 per tonne, Zambian President Rupiah Bwezani Banda told journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Speaking at a joint press conference with President Yar’Adua, Banda said his government intends to “widen the base of other industries and commodities”.

Banda, who was on his first trip outside Zambia since he was elected in October, called for the strengthening of developmental ties between his country and Nigeria to cushion the effect of the global financial crisis.

“We believe Nigeria is in the position to assist us. You have got the educated manpower, experience over the years for some of the crops we want to introduce in our country as staple foods,” he said.

He said his country was proud that Nigerians have invested in Zambia.

“We have for the first time truly an African bank from Nigeria – Access Bank — and two more banks will be coming to our country from Nigeria,” he said.

He called on Nigeria\’s business to come to Zambia to take advantage of the facilities and opportunities that exist in the industrial, manufacturing and financial sector of his country and to help in producing such crops as cassava, cocoa and palm oil for which Nigeria is “well known as specialist in that field.”

President Yar’Adua said he had discussed with the Zambian leader issues of a bilateral nature, African issues, situation in Zimbabwe and need for Nigeria and Zambia to convene a bilateral commission and to sign the various agreements that will enhance their bilateral relations.

African Press Agency – Copyright upon prior authorization