A JOINT Japanese and Zimbabwean business delegation is on a two-day visit to Zambia to look at possibilities of establishing a motor vehicle assembly and service plant in Ndola.
The six man delegation led by Japan’s Itochu Corporation automobile business expert, Hitoshi Nakajima and Zimbabwe’s Motec Holdings, group managing director, Benjamin Khumalo, will study the existing motor business opportunities in Zambia.
Yesterday the delegation paid a courtesy call on Ndola mayor, Anthony Katongo.
“We cannot state the exact amount of money we hope to invest in Zambia but all I can say as at now is that we are here in Ndola looking for opportunities in the motor industry and we are working in collaboration with Pilatus Engineering Company,” Mr Khumalo said.
Mr Khumalo said the delegation would visit some of the country’s motor vehicle assembly plants such as those once owned by Leyland Motors and Rover Zambia in Ndola.
The two plants have been non-operational for more than a decade.
He said the group would like to set up a Mazda assembly plant and also offer motor vehicle service and dealership facilities for various Japanese made cars and trucks.
The delegation, which consists of motor industry and business experts has targeted the fast growing motor trade in Zambian.
Mr Khumalo said the delegation was visiting Ndola because it was the country’s major industrial centre.
He said once the plant was established, his company would study the prospects of servicing the lucrative Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
And welcoming the delegation to Ndola, Mr Katongo said the Copperbelt offered a wide market to any business initiatives.
Mr Katongo said Ndola, which was the country’s industrial centre, was now recovering from economic recession.
He said some companies that had left the town like Tata Zambia had returned and reopened the bus and truck assembly plant.
The mayor said Ndola was well placed to house vehicle assembly plants because it had an internationally acclaimed training centre, the Nothern Technical College (NORTEC).
[Times of Zambia]