THE Zambian economy will not be getting stressed if a strategy on how to manage copper in the period when its price is both low and high is put in place, Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) president Dr Chrispin Mphuka has said.
Dr Mphuka said in an interview that it was high time measures and a strategy was put in place ameliorate the fluctuating copper prices during depressed economic times.
Dr Mphuka said copper prices were showing some positive signs as it was currently trading above US$5,000 a tonne.
He said the pick up of the copper price would result into more economic activities in the mining sector.
“It is good news that the copper prices are picking up and so we may see prices rebound in the medium term, which will be good for the economy because we may see much more economic activities in the mining sector,” Dr said.
Dr Mphuka however said that the management of copper prices would continue to be problematic if no strategic plan to hold the economy during low and high price period.
“That said, if we do not put in place how to manage the cycles of low and high prices so that during height prices we start building some buffers, then it will just be going in cycles.
“So the most important is to use that opportunities to out a strategy in place if you try to counter the vast during that period,” Dr Mphuka said.
He stated that much as China was stimulating its economy reducing the amount of copper it was buying from Zambia, the projection of the price of the commodity was in the long term positive.
Dr Mphuka diversification programmes should be implemented because would ensure that the country’s economy did not shake when the copper price was low.
“The projection of the demand for copper in the long term is encouraging. I think the issues of diversification we have been talking about should include how we can rebound industries in the copper sector so that we do not export raw copper but try to export finished products,” he said.