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Expo investors eye Lesotho

Mpeshe Selebalo recently in China

 SHANGHAI — Visitors to Lesotho’s pavilion at the World Expo in China have been keen to know more about investment opportunities in the kingdom.

`Mabafokeng Ncholu, who is co-ordinating Lesotho’s exhibitions at the expo, told the Sunday Express that if the investment inquiries came good rural-based businesses in this country stood to benefit.

“Most of the products that are displayed at the Lesotho pavilion were produced in the rural areas,” Ncholu said.

“This is through some of the projects targeted at promoting small businesses based in the rural areas.”

Lesotho is showcasing sandstone and aloe products as well as handicrafts among other exhibits, including bottled water.

Such products are mostly sourced from rural areas, where nearly 80 percent of Lesotho’s 1.8 million live mainly on subsistence farming.

“We want to maintain the low rural-urban migration through initiating small income-generating projects,” Ncholu said.

She said some investors had also shown interest in the diamond sector.

Some of the world’s biggest diamonds have been discovered in Lesotho.

The mining industry in Lesotho has seen positive growth in recent years on the back of rising demand for rough diamonds on the international market.

“There were some investors who were interested in polishing diamonds to increase their value, which will increase earnings for the country,” Ncholu said.

The World Expo is a gathering of about 200 countries to promote business and showcase technological innovations.

The expo, which began in May and will run until October 31, is being held under the theme “Better City, Better life”.

“This is one of the largest stages for investment promotion and we can secure some of the markets in the world,” Ncholu said.

“Large events such as the expo provide a platform for the exchange of ideas that can be used to solve different challenges for both small and bigger countries.”

The government of China provided Lesotho with a grant totaling US$650 000 to participate in the expo.

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