By SILUMESI MALUMO
IT is gratifying to note that the Copperbelt investment expo will come at the right time when Zambia needs serious diversification from copper dependence, Emeralds and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) president Victor Kalesha has said.
Mr Kalesha said following the successful launch of the investment expo, his association was optimistic that it would bring out a lot of positive results, looking at the untapped investment potential in Agriculture, forestry, tourism and gemstone mining.
Mr Kalesha said that the expo would be an eye opener to the huge untapped investment potential. He said that there was need to attract investors to gemstone mining as well as attract value addition in gemstone polishing and ornament designing.
He said that the country was exporting raw gemstones which was denying itself much needed revenue and job creation. “We produce all the gemstones and auction it to create jobs for our colleagues in foreign countries who do cutting and polishing.
“After a successful interaction with the President, it is obvious that there is good will on the part of government to develop the country. There is no better time than this to take advantage of attracting investors to the sleeping giant in gemstone mining,” he said.
Mr Kalesha encouraged local investors not to shun away from potential investments like emerald mining because it had huge income generation if there is enough equipment and operating capital.