‘Gemstone exchange will boost Kwacha’

THE commissioning of the gemstone exchange is one way to mitigate the stabilisation of the Kwacha as it has potential to employ a more people and generate foreign exchange, Sub-Saharan Gemstone Exchange Industrial Park chairman Phesto Musonda has said.
And the SGE is in discussion with Government on policy direction regarding the commissioning of the lapidary centre and the gemstone exchange in the next two months.
Mr Musonda said once commissioned, 30,000 jobs are expected to be created.
“As you know, the infrastructure for gemstone exchange has already been set up [and] what we are waiting for now is Government policy direction. We are in discussion with stakeholders that we commission the gemstone exchange. Ndola is a place which has a training centre for skilled labour,” he said.
He said the opening of a lapidary and gemstone centre can be done within two months because infrastructure is already in place.
“We are just waiting for Government direction on the commissioning,” he said.
Mr Musonda also said small-scale miners will have a ready market and other services once the centre is commissioned.
The exchange will also have a floor price for gemstones that will stimulate stone production mining activities.
He, however, said the jewellery sector is declining due to lack of a trading platform.
“We can earn more foreign exchange by cutting and polishing gemstones in the country. And this is labour intensive [so there will be need to employ more people],” he said.
Mr Musonda said the exchange has the potential to promote the country as a tourist destination and turn the town into a “Gem city”.

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