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Lungu woos Japanese investors

PRESIDENT Lungu has invited Japanese investors to invest in Zambia’s energy, agriculture and mining sectors.
Speaking during a meeting with Japanese parliamentary vice minister of Foreign Affairs Takashi Uto here yesterday, Mr Lungu said his administration is in a hurry to develop the country by seeking more investment in the energy, agriculture and mining sectors.
“Japan has over the years co-operated with Zambia in the areas of energy, agriculture, health, water and sanitation. We can only hope that this will continue during my term of office and beyond and at the same time, we will request more to this relationship.
“In this respect, let me extend my welcome to all potential investors in Japan, we are in a hurry to develop the country,” Mr Lungu said.
He also said Zambia is one of the best choice tourism destinations and invited tourists from that country to visit Zambia.
The President said Japan and Zambia have been friends as far back as 1964 and that Zambia cherishes the friendship.
“Last year, we were very happy to receive your Royal Highness Prince Kiko and Princess Akishino and to receive a high-level delegation from Japan during our golden jubilee celebrations,” Mr Lungu said.
Earlier, Mr Uto congratulated Mr Lungu on his election victory.
Mr Uto said Japan is happy that the presidential election was conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner, thereby contributing to the consolidation of Zambia’s democracy.
Earlier, Mr Lungu held a bilateral meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
Mr Lofven also congratulated Mr Lungu on his election victory.
He told Mr Lungu that Sweden has a minority Government after last September’s election in which his political party, the Social Democrats emerged victorious.
Mr Lofven explained that the Social Democrats involved the opposition to pass the budget.
He said the Social Democrats was in power from 1994 to 2006 and lost the election before losing again for the second time in 2010.
Mr Lofven said his party only returned to power after winning last September’s election.
And Mr Lungu said he hopes to bounce back to power after next year’s presidential election.
“Me and my colleagues had challenges after President Sata died to carry on with his legacy and we can learn from your experiences,” Mr Lungu said.
He said Zambia appreciates the help that Sweden renders to Zambia and urged investors from that country to explore investment opportunities in mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
“You can send a trade delegation to Zambia to explore investment opportunities,” Mr Lungu said.
He also said Government encourages partnerships between foreign and local investors.
In response, Mr Lofven said he will send his Minister of Health on a fact finding mission to explore investment opportunities and to look at needy areas requiring Sweden’s support.
And a member of Mr Lofven’s delegation asked Mr Lungu how he will deal with falling copper prices on the international market; to which Mr Lungu said his Government is open to negotiations with mining companies and other investors.
Mr Lungu later held bilateral talks with South Sudan President Salva Kiir at Sheraton Hotel.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has sent a message of condolence to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Sissi following the killing of more than 30 people in a terror attack.
“It is with a deep sense of sorrow that I learnt of the cowardly acts of violence against your nationals in the area of Sinai. On behalf of the Government and people of Zambia, I wish to convey to Your Excellency, and through you, to the Egyptian people, and the bereaved families in particular, our heartfelt condolences,” President Lungu said in a letter in Addis Ababa today.
“May I take this opportunity, Your Excellency, to express my desire that the friendly and brotherly relations that exist between our two countries will grow from strength to strength for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.”
This is according to a statement issued by special assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda yesterday.
Mr Lungu assured Egypt of Zambia’s support to in that country’s efforts to combat terrorism.
The Head of State met President El Sissi on January 29 on the side-lines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa and discussed several bilateral issues including bilateral cooperation to combat terrorism.