22 October 2012

Zambia: 'Sata's Korean Trip Positive'

COMMERCE, Trade and Industry Minister Bob Sichinga has described President Michael Sata's trip to South Korea as a 'positive experience' aimed at enhancing economic growth in Zambia.

Mr Sichinga said his ministry decided to take advantage of the President's visit to South Korea to establish what investment opportunities could be offered to Zambia.

Mr Sata was in South Korea on a four-day working visit and to attend the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) at the invitation of President Lee Myung-bak.

Mr Sichinga, who was part of the President's delegation that also included Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Chenda and Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo, said the delegation also took the opportunity of the KOAFEC forum to encourage potential South Korean investors and the business community to invest in Zambia.

He told Zambian journalists here that part of the delegation's aim was to interest and educate the South Koreans about Zambia and that some companies had shown interest in investing in sectors such as agriculture, construction and technology.

"The experience in South Korea has been very positive, they have rolled out a red carpet for President Sata and the trip was an excellent opportunity to encourage potential South Korean investors to come to Zambia.

"South Korea is a very successful country and we can learn from them, so we are keeping all new avenues open in terms of investment and trade," he said.

Mr Sichinga said South Korea, whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was in excess of US$1 trillion was willing to share its experiences with Zambia.

He said companies like Samsung Engineering, which was strong in electronics, contributed an equivalent of 22 per cent of the South Korean economy and had also shown willingness to invest in Zambia.

Earlier, Mr Sichinga held a meeting with the Korean Railroad to establish opportunities for the company to invest in railway infrastructure in Zambia.

He said Zambia was looking for partnerships that would build, operate and transform the rail network and to create employment for Zambians and ensure there was economic growth.

And Korail senior project manager Joon Jesse Lee said the company was owned by the government and operated as a public corporation.

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