BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
A US$100 million factory which will be manufacturing ceramic tiles at the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (LS-MFEZ) is expected to be commissioned in the next two months.
The commissioning of the factory will result into over direct 1,000 jobs, says Keda Zambia Company Limited Project Director, Jie Ma.
Mr Jie said the investment which would be in two phases at US$50,000 each, would create over 1,000 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs.
He was speaking when acting Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Mutotwe Kafwaya, visited the company together with two other companies at the LS-MFEZ on Friday last week.
“Local competition will be enhanced through competitive pricing and increased product variety. Currently Zambians are paying a lot of money on imported ceramic tiles under the premise of only one company operating locally,” Mr Jie said.
He explained that Keda Zambia Ceremics Company Limited would have a daily production of over 30,000 square meters, and that it would offload 60 percent on the local market and export 40 percent.
The company, Mr Jie said, would also engage local suppliers as a way of creating a value chain.
He indicated that in other countries the company was operating in, it had engaged suppliers who brought sand, cement, clay and other raw materials.
“We want the same here because we cannot go everywhere. We need everyone involved in this value chain including transporters,” Mr Jie said.
Mr Jie said the development with create foreign exchange and effectively contribute to import substitution of ceramic tiles.
He also called on Government to speed up the incentive approval for the company as outlined in the policies around investments in MFEZs.
In response, Mr Kafwaya said Government was ready to support investors that helped in the creation of jobs and economic transformation.
“It is in the interest of Government to see more investments in the MFEZ. Keda has potential to create jobs and business opportunities for Zambians and that is what we want. Incentives is part of the story,” Mr Kafwaya said.