Friday, October 12, 2012

President Sata praises wife Kaseba in Japan

President Sata praises wife Kaseba in Japan
By Bivan Saluseki in Tokyo
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday praised his wife, Dr Christine Kaseba, for making him what he is today.

President Sata, when introducing his delegation to Keidanren - Japan's Federation of the Private Sector, said First Lady Dr Kaseba was his 'right hand person' even though she was seated on his left, sending the audience into laughter.

"You see, because without her, I would not be where I am today," he said shortly after making his address.

He said even if Dr Kaseba was on his left at the function, she was on his right and part of the distinguished ladies and gentlemen and a medical doctor.
President Sata showcased Zambia as a destination of choice for investment from Japan.

He said Zambia was strategically positioned to provide prospective business and investment to two large regional markets - Comesa and SADC.

"My government is determined to enhance the expansion and diversification of the economy by promoting foreign direct investment as well as continued and strengthened cooperation in the areas of diplomacy, finance, trade and technology," said President Sata who has been leading all the investment meetings here.

"Zambia's stable macroeconomic stability - a conducive and enabling environment for private sector and industrial growth, political stability, peace and tranquility - is the hallmark for the country's positive investment. We in Zambia pride ourselves as being Africa's new frontier for investments and high returns."

President Sata said Zambia boasted of other market opportunities through agreements and membership to European Union through the Everything But Arms initiative (EBA), USA through AGOA and the Market Access Initiatives with Canada.

"We are working towards achieving similar market access initiatives across the globe including some with countries in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region," he said.

President Sata said the Zambian economy had for the last five years registered real Gross Domestic Product growth rate of over 5.7 per cent and was this year projected to register positive growth of above 7 per cent, single digit inflation rate and decreasing interest rates.

He said Zambia was committed to restructuring the economy by diversifying into other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure development.

President Sata said government was also committed to reducing the cost of doing business and streamlining the investment climate through the elimination of unnecessary and cumbersome licences and procedures.

"Additionally, the government has implemented prudent fiscal reforms such as broadening the tax base, increased spending on priority sectors aimed at minimising unplanned expenditure while ensuring fiscal discipline," said President Sata.

Later, President Sata also had meetings with Hitachi Construction chairman, Kikawa.

President Sata told the Hitachi delegation to build a bigger plant than the one along Airport Road.

He appreciated their investment to Zambia and invited them to meet him next time the team would be in Zambia.

President Sata also met the JICA president at Hotel New Otani.
JICA president Akihiko Tanaka told President Sata that he was happy with the Kazungula Bridge project.

He said JICA considered Zambia one of the best partners in terms of development.
Tanaka said the completion of Kazungula Bridge would help improve transportation within and outside Zambia.

He said the Japanese government should pay particular attention to Africa.
And President Sata invited JICA officials to go to Zambia because there were a lot of projects where JICA could help.

The President said Zambia needed infrastructure development.
He also said Japan could help in areas of agriculture such as tobacco because of the availability of tobacco market.

The head of state said Japan could take advantage of Zambia's position in the region as a springboard for developing the region.
He is tomorrow expected to fly to Hokkaido town to visit the university and other agricultural projects before attending mass at Kita Ichijo Catholic Church in the same area.

About half of the milk in Japan is produced in the beautiful and vast countryside of Hokkaido, the largest of Japan's 47 prefectures and northernmost of Japan's four main islands.

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