TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
FAIRY Bottling Zambia Limited (FB) has invested US$70 million in the buying of equipment and manufacturing of mineral water and drinks from 2009 to date.
The company produces Aquasavana pure mineral water and a wide range of superior carbonated beverages to cater for all kinds of tastes such as American Cola, Bubble up, planet juices and reactor energy drink.
Company chief executive officer Mohamed el Sahili said in an interview on Monday that the part of the funds have been used to buy advanced machinery for the firm, which has also employed 408 locals.
Dr Sahili said Zambia’s business environment presents opportunities which investors could tap into.
“I am also calling on other investors out there to come to Zambia because it has a lot of opportunities in various sector. The investment we have put is very little compared to what Zambia deserves, therefore, we will continue to invest,” he said.
Dr Sahili who, however, could not disclose the production capacity and export volumes, said the company is currently, exporting its products to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
On training, he said the company is transferring skills to the locals as it uses advanced technology.
“There is need for people to have interest to acquire knowledge in the latest technology being brought into the country in order to operate the equipment,” Dr Sahili said.
In a separate interview after the tour of the factory, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margret Mwanakatwe called for partnerships between local and foreign investors to create jobs and wealth to drive industrialisation.
“It is amazing how Zambia is doing in terms of bringing investment in the country, with the state-of-the-art being utilised at this company [FB]. It shows that we have a favourable business environment,” Mrs Mwanakatwe said.