26 November 2012

Zambia's Future Bright, Says Finnish Envoy

FINLAND Ambassador to Zambia Pertti Anttinen has said Zambia's future in mining and other sectors of the economy is bright for as long as the Government continues to implement long-term policies to sustain Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

Mr Anttinen said the amount of foreign investment in various sectors of the Zambian economy was impressive and the country could greatly benefit if more was done in promoting business partnerships between locals and foreign investors.

"For us it is extremely useful to see things with our eyes behind those FDI figures, what we have seen so far is very impressive in terms of volume, money, operations, size of the operation and employment figures," he said.

Mr Anttinen said he hoped trade relations between Zambia and Finland would expand further and expressed satisfaction that Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) was using clean Finnish technology at its Nchanga Smelter.

Mr Anttinen urged the mining sector to utilise the existing partnership between Zambia and Finland to enhance value-addition to mineral production and economic diversification.

The ambassador said it would be beneficial for Zambia to boost relations with Finland's minerals and metal cluster consisting of large technology companies such as Outotec and Metso and also medium and small high-technology-based service companies, which were growing steadily.

"It would be ideal to boost co-operation between the two clusters, especially around clean technologies and renewable energy solutions, enhancing productivity and the mining sector's contribution to sustainable development in Zambia," he said.

The Finn-partnership programme offers a flexible business co-operation platform between Finnish companies and their partners in developing countries.

"The programme could be used extensively in Zambia to provide new opportunities for technology transfer and skills development. Ultimately we would like to see an increase in joint ventures leading to investment and job creation in the Zambian economy," he said.

A high-level delegation consisting of Finnish government officials and civic leaders, led by Under-Secretary of State for International Development Ms Anne Sipiläinen and Ambassador Anttinen, visited KCM in Chingola to get a comprehensive picture of what was taking place in the mining industry.

"Your community social responsibility programmes are very impressive, I wonder where you find time to do mining when you are so active in the community," Ambassador Anttinen told KCM officials.

KCM chief executive officer Jeyakumar Janakaraj during the meeting with the Finnish delegation said that the company would like to collaborate with companies like Outotec of Finland to establish a centre of excellence to train engineers in mineral processing and plant technology.

He said KCM would ensure it works with key stakeholders to help promote Zambia's development goals.

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