ZAMBIA is still an attractive business destination despite its economic challenges, Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Kiyoshi Koinuma has said.
Mr Koinuma said in an interview in Lusaka that the economic challenges that Zambia was facing were not peculiar to the country, but were also faced by other countries in Africa and Asia.
“It is true that Zambia is facing many economic challenges like the depreciation of the Kwacha, increased load shedding and the rising inflation. But this is not a problem for Zambia alone.
“More or less many African countries are facing the same problems. Even Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are facing these problems due to the slowdown of the Chinese economy,” he said.
The other reason was the low prices of commodities like copper.
Mr Koinuma said the economic slowdown was not the fault of any particular person.
He had engaged many Japanese companies which had expressed willingness to invest in Zambia as partners to Zambian businesses.
The Ambassador said Zambia had huge potential for joint partnerships because it played a huge role in the region.
The country enjoyed peaceful transitions of governments and had vast unused land, huge water resources as well as, a mild climate.
Zambia was therefore a favourite for foreign direct investment.
Mr Koinuma said he was hopeful that Zambia would overcome its challenges because of the goodwill of Government and people.
He said Zambia was an important partner to Japan and the Japanese would do all they could to help Zambia overcome its challenges.
There is need for Zambia to industrialise its agriculture sector and the Japanese Government was providing support.
Government should increase its support to the agriculture sector to help boost and expedite the diversification of the economy.
Mr Koinuma was happy with Government’s pronouncements on the economy and he urged Government to implement the policies and report back to its citizens and the world on the progress made.
He was so far happy with the leadership of President Edgar Lungu because he was committed to uniting and developing the country.
“I attended the prayer and fasting ceremony on Sunday and I have an impression that Government is making its utmost effort to unite Zambians even in these difficulties. From the time President Lungu came to power, I appreciate his initiatives of unity and transparency,” Mr Koinuma said.