CHILEAN ambassador to Zambia Carlos Parker has said skilled manpower is necessary for the successful implementation of economic diversification which Zambia is seeking to reduce its dependence on copper. Mr Parker said Government’s decision to undertake economic diversification was correct but it was important that skilled manpower and other stakeholders fully participated in the programme. Speaking yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on Kitwe mayor Christopher Kang’ombe, Mr Parker said Zambia’s economic challenges needed serious cooperation with Chile. “We are here because there is need for both countries to cooperate and work together in areas that need strong economic ties. As Zambia seeks to diversify its economy, it needs skilled manpower to contribute to economic diversification. “The decision to diversify the economy is a step in the right direction, but skilled manpower and other stakeholders should be made to know what is their role in it so that they fully participate in the programme,” said Mr Parker. He said his country, being one of the largest producers of copper in the world, had decided to diversify its economy following the low copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME). And speaking later, Mr Kang’ombe said Kitwe was still economically active despite the low copper prices on the international market because some people had decided to venture into agriculture and other businesses. He said Kitwe was the most ideal place for investment on the Copperbelt especially with the opening of the new Kitwe town across the Kafue River in Mufuchani area. “Apart from opening up of new Kitwe, the city is also working on road infrastructure and other areas which would make the city attractive to investment. So as a city, we are facing challenges, but we are an ideal place for investment,” said Mr Kang’ombe.