Visiting Italian trade commissioner Sergio La Verghetta says Zimbabwe has a huge potential to penetrate the global ornamental stone market but lacks new technology.
The Italian Embassy in collaboration with companies from that country on Monday held a one-day workshop to demonstrate their technologies in the stone sector to local companies.
“Zimbabwe produces some of the most amazing stones, but requires new technology to add value to the stones and make them marketable” said Verghetta.
“Our aim is to bring latest Italian technology that could transform the marble and granite industry in the country.”
Italy is a net exporter of stone machinery and technology, as well as marble and other precious stones.
He said the objective of the workshop was to present the best technologies made in Italy that are used to add value to raw materials.
Varghetta said through the workshop with local producers, Italian companies were in a better position to demonstrate and share knowledge on how stone value could be enhanced.
The workshop was the fifth in a series organised around the world, within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Association of Marble Machinery Manufacturers and the Italian Trade Commission. Regional geologist Bonwell Mupaya said with proper technology and equipment the country could produce the stones on a commercial basis.
“Our duty is to promote mining in Zimbabwe, having workshops like these is a rare opportunity,” said Mupaya.
“We want to promote investors in this sector. There are companies that are considering investing in this sector already that has so much potential”.
Zimbabwe is endowed with unique black granite.
Saul Muvindi, project manager (Africa) for the International Marble Institute said: “Zimbabwe has the raw materials but doesn’t have the technology.”