By HELEN ZULU –
ZAMBIA still has a chance to acquire a financial bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided it follows the strict reforms the fund has proposed.
Government has been negotiating for an IMF bailout package to stabilise and grow the economy.
CTPD executive director Isaac Mwaipopo said there was still room for Zambia to access the programme provided it followed strict reforms which IMF was suggesting.
Mr Mwaipopo said, among the reforms to be followed included venturing into projects which would bring in investment while scaling down on expenditure.
“There is still room for us to get back to the discussion table with IMF and discuss the way forward. We do not think the IMF has closed off the negotiations with Zambia completely.
“But we think that what the IMF wants us to do is to abide by the proposed reforms some of which Government was already implementing and the ones the fund is proposing,” he said.
Mr Mwaipopo said in an interview in Lusaka that Government needed to demonstrate to the fund its commitment to follow through with the required reforms to stabilise the economy and reduce on debt accumulation.
“There is still room for Zambia to get the bailout package if we demonstrate that the proposed measures that we have put in place are being followed,” he said.
Mr Mwaipopo said the current prevailing copper prices were expected to improve economic prospects for the country if they were sustained.
A tonne of copper on the international market is currently trading at over US$7, 000.
“If you look at the performance of copper prices, there is a good improvement and if there is a sustained performance of the commodity, it is likely to have a positive bearing in terms of our prospective growth for 2018,” Mr Mwaipopo said.