Those were the words of Zambian president, Michael Sata, when he visited Samsung City. He also claimed that “Samsung has more money than Korea.” He had a lot to say at Samsung (The Post Newspaper, October 20, 2012):
Earlier, Samsung Electronics president and chief financial officer Ju-Hwa Yoon said his company, now ranked 9th among the top 100 global brands in 2012, goes where the market exists for its wide range of products, hinting that they were in a process of setting up a plant in Egypt.
But President Sata objected and argued that Zambia had a much bigger market and presented attractive opportunities for business growth than Egypt.
“You will make more money in Zambia and you will see that for yourself…Instead of going to Egypt, come to Zambia because it has the largest market than Egypt,” he said. “In Zambia and many other countries in Africa, Samsung is appreciated. Having known Samsung myself for more than 20 years, I have not been impressed with your development in Zambia.
I am told you are building another factory here; why not build in Zambia? And don’t blame us if other Korean companies come and we give them incentives for investing in Zambia. So my main request to you is to come and open a factory in Zambia. When you do, you will have the entire central African market.
In an earlier meeting, one of President Sata’s ministers warned (Post Newspaper, October 17, 2012):
“If you don’t come, the Chinese will come; if you don’t come, the Americans will come; if you don’t come, the British will come,” said Sichinga, who is among ministers who have accompanied President Sata on his official visit to South Korea.
President Sata was fairly busy in Korea. He told South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik (The Times of Zambia, October 18, 2012):
“Investors should come and explore opportunities in Zambia and I would like to urge you to allow the Korean Airlines to start flying into Zambia as a way of promoting tourism and enhancing economic growth,” he said.
According to the Zambia Daily Mail (October 20, 2012), Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik reportedly said something along the lines that the “South Korean government has a duty to reciprocate the help it received from Africa as it grew its economy.” I didn’t actually see a quote by the Prime Minister saying quite what the paper said….but who knows.
President Sata also met President Lee Myung-Bak (Times of Zambia, October 20, 2012):
President Sata held closed-door bilateral talks with his counterpart Lee Myung-Bak and addressed the Zambia-Korea business forum, which was attended by more than 100 participants. Mr Sata also toured Samsung Electronics giant factory in Suwon City and emphasised the need for the company to construct a factory in Zambia.
What did he say at the Zambia-Korea business forum? Here’s your answer (Zambia Daily Mail, October 17, 2012):
President Sata advised Korean businesses that they were better off investing in Zambia, which has a huge land mass – at over 750,000 square kilometres – rather than struggle for space in their country to set up businesses. “You have very little land here and yet you continue to set up factories and yet in Zambia there is plenty of land and very few manufacturing companies,” President Sata said. “This is why we have continued to export raw materials.”
President Sata also made a reference to Zambia being “still so primitive because we are still selling our copper and other minerals as raw materials.” (Post Newspaper, October 17, 2012). Of course, this comment wasn’t well-received by some of the press back home. Zambia Watchdog (October 18, 2012) really lashed out:
It is a pity that in order to get money from Koreans, Zambia’s number one representative can go and insult us in that manner.
The ordinary Zambian is not not primitive. We are intelligent and have actually shown that we are resilient. We have survived economic and political disasters under dictators, thieves, tribalists and plain morons.
And what makes Sata think that those Koreans will develop Zambia? Is it their responsibility? They may come to our beloved and beautify Zambia to construct plants for Samsung and other products, but so what?
That could give jobs to a hundred Zambians and a few bucks in terms of tax but the real profit will go to Korea to build more industries and retain the profit inside Seoul.
Inviting Hyundai, Daewoo and Samsung to Zambia really shows how primitive our leaders are. Why not revive Livingstone Motor assembly [here is a link to Zambian auto history – not sure what the video of bared-breasts has to do with the article] using the money which Sata, his ministers and cooks are using for those airtickects and expensive hotels in Asia.
And by the Way South Korea is not as developed as the PF newspapers want us to believe. It is not even the 7th largest economy in the world. That is a blue lie. It is 13th.
Sata, after calling us primitive, claimed that Zambia and Korea have so much in common. We wonder what those commonalities are.
Korea did not reach its level of considerable development by going to invite foreigners to set up industries in their country. Those people are nationalistic.
Instead, it was Government-sponsored schemes that encouraged the growth of family-owned industrial conglomerates, known as “chaebol”.
Of course the most important of these were the Hyundai and Samsung groups.
Wow – read the rest of the article to see just how willing they are for the Koreans to invest. President Sata also visited Japan and seems to have done better there than he did in Korea:
While in Japan, the President met the country’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as well as the Japanese Emperor and Empress. He also met with several business executives and representatives of various organisations. During the visit to Japan, a loan agreement of US$41 million was signed for the construction of Kazungula Bridge.