Tokyo — PRESIDENT Michael Sata has invited Japanese enterprises to consider investing in various sectors of the Zambian economy, especially taking over Kawambwa Tea Estate to revamp its operations and create jobs.
Mr Sata invited Japanese experts to consider investing in areas such as agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and fish farming to create more job opportunities.
The President, who arrived here yesterday on a working visit, said the tea estate was available for investment and that it had the potential for growth.
He said Japanese enterprises should, therefore, consider reviving operations at the company.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations George Chellah said this in an interview here yesterday after the Head of State held a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
"I can confirm that President Sata has invited Japanese enterprises to develop and revive Kawambwa Tea Estate.
"Generally, the bilateral meeting between Mr Sata and Mr Noda was cordial and fruitful," he said.
He said Zambia had a lot of investment potential especially as the country prepared to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly from August 24 to August 29, 2013.
The general assembly, which would be co-hosted by Livingstone and Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe, was a good opportunity for the Japanese to participate as delegates since their country was a member of UNWTO.
Mr Sata also invited the Japanese to consider introducing a direct flight between Japan and Zambia to boost Zambia's tourism.
He noted that although Zambia had enjoyed a cordial relationship with Japan over the last 48 years, the number of Japanese tourists coming to Zambia was still low.
"The number of Japanese tourists coming to Zambia is currently very low despite our long relationship with Japan.
"We also need to simplify our visa requirements between Zambia and Japan to stimulate more travels," he said.
Mr Sata said Zambia and Japan should exchange trade missions to increase trade between the two countries.
In agriculture, he said Zambia had the potential for further growth and cited Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia which he said needed more recapitalisation to improve fertiliser production.
He thanked a Japanese firm, Hitachi, for setting up a plant in Zambia, saying more jobs had been created as a result of such investment.
The President also said he was sad that the Japanese had experienced some disasters such as the Tsunami.
In response, Mr Noda hailed Zambia's economic diversification process, saying more Japanese firms were keen to invest in Zambia.
Mr Noda also invited Mr Sata to consider attending next year's Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to be held in June.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Emmanuel Chenda, Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo, Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda as well as officials from the Japanese Government were also in attendance during the bilateral meeting held at Mr Noda's residence.