By Nation Reporter
MORE than 90 foreign and local companies are expected to participate in the Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and conference set for the Copperbelt show grounds in Kitwe from May 12 to 13.
Kitwe and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KDDCI) president Allan Nyirenda said out of the 91 companies, 42 were local, 33 were South African and 15 were international companies.
He said during a press briefing yesterday at Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) board in Kitwe that the Expo Trade and Conference was a platform where local and foreign companies were exhibiting their prowess in mining and trade.
“We have partnered with Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference because we represent the interest of the country. This is a show which provides a platform for the local and foreign companies to exhibit their mining prowess.
‘‘At this conference, the companies also exchanged ideas on how to deal with the challenges facing the mining industry,” Mr Nyirenda said.
He also said the conference may have short and long term benefits because if foreign companies find Zambia to be a good place for their investment, they may invest in sectors such as manufacturing and thereby create employment for the local people.
“As you know, the manufacturing sector has not been doing fine and if an investor decides to invest in the manufacturing sector, he could help to revive the sector and create employment for the local people. So this conference could have both short and long term benefits to the country,” he said.
And event director Nichole Smith said the expo was an important event for both Zambian and South African companies so that they could exchange ideas on how they were coping with the power deficit and the low copper prices at the London Metal Exchange (LME).
Ms Smith said they had decided to hold the event in Kitwe because it was the major mining city and the second largest city in Zambia where most of the population depended on copper mining.
“We thought it wise to hold this expo in Kitwe because it is the major mining city and most of the people depended on copper mining for their lives. It wouldn’t have made sense to hold the expo in Lusaka when the mining companies are found on the Copperbelt,” Ms Smith said.