By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –
ZAMBIA should raise the profile of the manufacturing sector by investing in local value addition of its mineral industry to hedge against the falling prices of copper on the world market.
Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) president Bright Chunga said decisive choices must be made such as local value addition in the mining industry.
This would help tackle effects resulting from fluctuations in the prices of copper on the world market.
Copper prices closed 15 per cent down near its lowest in 2014 as uncertainty over Chinese consumption continue to gnaw at investors and experts in the metal markets predict a further slump in prices in the 2015.
Dr Chunga said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday it was important to take control of the situation by investing in value addition components of the industry so that the changes in metal prices had as little impact as possible on the domestic economy.
“There is no surprise in the falling prices of copper on the international market. It is expected but what we need to do is to raise the profile of the manufacturing sector. We must begin to add value to the copper we produce and other minerals, that way we shall edge against the falling copper prices,” he said.
He said value addition to metals could become the basis for many different forms of manufacturing across the country.
He said this would enhance the promotion of value addition to raw materials which in turn would boost the manufacturing sector.
Zambia could transform her economy from a primary raw material producer, to a sustainable manufacturer of semi-processed and processed metal products.