Session 1: Regional manufacturing and industrial policy 1
This paper identifies important opportunities linked to growing local and regional demand, and what constraints exist for their exploitation. It identifies several areas of untapped, substantial opportunities for Zambia's manufacturing sector. While Zambia's competitiveness in global markets is challenged by macroeconomic factors (fluctuating exchange rates, real exchange rate appreciation) and structural bottlenecks (transportation costs, infrastructural services), all of which will require ambitious policy interventions and long-term investment (roads and railways rehabilitation and construction, electricity, internet connectivity), there are more immediate opportunities that are available in addition to its focus on copper beneficiation. These opportunities include strengthening linkages to urban demand for processed food, increasingly structured around supermarket retail chains, and to copper mining demand for goods and services. Opportunities also exist for suppliers to the mining industry as copper mining companies require a local supply chain capable of providing value added services and products, at reasonable prices and within short lead times.