Featured image: The Zimbabwe pavilion at DRC Mining Week in June 2018

Exclusive interview with ZimTrade, the organizer of the Zimbabwe country pavilion exhibiting at DRC Mining Week in Lubumbashi from 19-21 June.

"The reported US$3 million deals done onsite last year are an indication that DRC is a lucrative market."

Welcome back to DRC Mining Week! Which companies were part of your pavilion and how was the experience at the event last year?
Thank you. Last year we had Zimbabwean companies that manufacture high quality and durable mining consumables, electricity transformers, power cables, industrial safety solutions, valves, water pipes and building materials. We were very pleased with the level of interest in Zimbabwean products and our participants generated many business leads some of which they have managed to convert into export sales within a short period of time.

You were quoted in the media last year that companies on your pavilion clinched more than US $3-million worth of deals at the event. Can you tell us more about this?
The US$3 million reported is an indication that DRC is a lucrative market and that there is potential for business synergies between Zimbabwean and DRC companies. It is what has spurred us to participate at the show once again in 2019.

What products or projects will the ZimTrade pavilion display at the event in Lubumbashi this year?
The Zimbabwean pavilion will, this year, showcase a variety of locally produced products which includes; jaw crushers, rollers, conveyor belts, electricity transformers and cables, engineering solutions, industrial safety equipment, instrumentation services, boiler serving, irrigation equipment and water management systems among other products

What makes the mining sector in the DRC exciting for Zimbabwean companies?
According to a market survey that we conducted in Lubumbashi in October 2016, DRC produces more than 3% of the world’s copper and half its cobalt, most of which comes from Katanga region. Moreover, the mining sector in the Katanga region is composed of both large-scale mining firms and the small artisanal mining operations (ASSM).

Zimbabwean exporters of mining consumables, engineering and safety solutions are looking forward to doing business with both small and large-scale miners in the Katanga region. DRC, which is a member of SADC and borders five EAC countries, also serves as a gateway into East Africa giving Zimbabwean companies an opportunity to expand their business into countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.

How important is DRC Mining Week as an annual forum for the mining sector in this region?
Our research shows that DRC Mining Week is the largest mining and industrial platform in DRC which brings together miners, suppliers of mining and industrial supplies, international professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders in the mining sector to explore and showcase products, services and innovative technologies. Over 2 300 international professionals and stakeholders from more than 50 countries are expected to attend the fair giving Zimbabwean companies an opportunity to showcase their products to a very wide audience. It is among the key platforms focused on mining within the region, and is doing a great deal to promote regional trade.

What will be your message at DRC Mining Week this year?
We are inviting all visitors to come to the ZimTrade pavilion for B2B meetings with suppliers of high quality and affordable products from Zimbabwe. We carry the message of quality is king!

Anything you would like to add?
We are looking forward to a successful show. See you there!