British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Zambia, charged with the reasonability of increasing trade and economic cooperation between Zambia and the United Kingdom, Baroness Lindsay Northover has said the UK Government recognises the great trade and investment opportunities available in Zambia and across Africa.
And Zambia’s Minister of Mines and Minerals Development honorable Richard Musukwa has said Zambia endeavors to ensure that all mining operations both small and large scale operations are anchored on the world best practices exploited in a sustainable manners with a significant contribution to host communities and beyond.
Meanwhile Chief Executive Officer, ZCCM Investments Holdings Dr. Pius Kasolo has said ZCCM-IH has new strategic plans in place which provides the thrust for ZCCM-IH to achieve its full potential in returning value to its shareholders both from existing portfolio and new investments.
During her opening remarks at the Zambia Mining Investment Conference 2018 held in London on Tuesday, Baroness Northover said the British Government is aware how important it is for Zambia and other African countries to maximise their true potential.
“We want British businesses to make the most of the trade and investment opportunities on offer. It is in all our interests to turn these opportunities into sustained growth. Mining is crucial to the Zambian economy and it can and should make a key contribution to a nation’s economic and social development. Mining-product revenue contributes an estimated 11.5 percent to global GDP. We all recognise its significance,” she said.
She said the UK and Zambia have strong historical ties and the UK Government is keen to encourage trade links with Zambia.
The Trade Envoy also said she will be visiting Zambia in September and she will visit the mining area.
“In my role as Trade Envoy I meet companies in the UK who are trading in Zambia or looking to do so. The UK’s engagement can already be seen through regular mining missions organised by the Department for International Trade such as that in June 2017 and also the Zambian Copperbelt Conference. This will be further reinforced through the forthcoming Impact Capital Conference taking place in Lusaka on 2nd and 3rd October 2018,” she said.
Baroness Northover said the conference will bring together impact investors and Zambian businesses that are seeking investment in order to scale up. She added that the Department for International Trade will be organising a mission to the event.
And Mine’s Minister Honorable Richard Musukwa said in a speech read on his behalf by Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde that Zambia remains to continue as a beacon for favorable investment climate in the mining sector.
He said the Zambian government is addressing challenges that the mining industry is facing and is focusing on reducing the cost of production in the mines and the cost of doing business in general for investors.
The Minister also said in order to enhance accountability and transparency in the management of mineral resources, Zambia is extending the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) beyond mere reporting of payments by mining companies and receipts by government.
“Zambia is an EITI country since 2008. Accountability and transparency is not only for payments and receipts, it is also important for maintaining a conducive investment environment. Therefore, EITI in Zambia will be expanded to cover aspects such as ownership, local content, and corporate social responsibility,” he said.
Meanwhile Dr. Kasolo said the mining sector will still remain critical to ZCCM-IH strategy, as the mining company is looking to diversify into other minerals and work at extracting value from existing assets in the sector.
“Our long term vision as a company is to be Zambia’s premier diversified investment company with the most attractive returns. We will continue to actively seek and invest in sustainable value adding projects, both short and long term, to create new revenue income streams, and reduce reliance on dividend pay-outs from our assets in the mining sector,” he said.
The statement was issued to the media by Abigail Chaponda , the First Secretary (Press) at the Zambian Zambia High Commission in the United Kigdom
Dr. Kasolo said given the current enabling investment climate in the country and the commitment of the company to good corporate governance, values of integrity, professionalism, accountability and innovation, ZCCM-IH strongly believes that any investor can only stand to leverage and benefit from partnering with ZCCM-IH.