13 February 2013

Zambia: Copper Park Coming

Plans by the Government to create a copper park in Kabwe, Central Province, have advanced following the setting up of a technical committee which will look at the modalities of its operation, Commerce Minister Bob Sichinga has said.

Mr Sichinga said a technical committee comprising the private sector and other technocrats, was instituted last month and will immediately start looking at how best the park will operate.

The committee also includes mining firms, the ministry's department of industry as well as, the Zambia Development Agency(ZDA).

Mr Sichinga explained that the main purpose of the establishment of the park by the Government was solely value addition to hundreds of tonnes of copper mainly, concentrates which leaves the country in raw form.

The minister said in an interview in Lusaka that his ministry was currently working with Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), the private sector, and ZDA, to promote the establishment of the much anticipated Copper Park.

"We are working with some of the mining companies as well as ZDA, to promote the establishment of the copper park and we have agreed that it will be located in Kabwe," Mr Sichinga said.

The team will soon work on the modalities of how best the copper park, which will be a copper value chain, will operate.

The Commerce ministry will be responsible for providing policy direction and the minister said development of the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) as well as the copper parks, would be promoted under ZDA.

"We have started the process and it is not going to happen overnight but it is ongoing," Mr Sichinga said.

He noted that, Zambia was a major producer of copper, adding that, the Government wanted to export finished copper products rather than importing the same goods in finished form.

"In this country, we want to ensure that we promote the manufacturing of finished goods instead of Zambia having to import the same finished copper goods. We actually want the country to export finished copper products," Mr Sichinga explained.

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