By RABECCA CHIPANTA and CHUSA SICHONE –
FINANCE Minister Felix Mutati has said Zambia’s economic trajectory was positive and growing stronger as the country was enjoying entrenched democracy and political stability.
Mr Mutati also assured the investor community in South Africa that Zambia’s economic environment had stabilised following the consistent economic policies implemented by the Government.
Speaking at the infrastructure Africa Business Forum held at the Convention Centre in Sandton South Africa, Mr Mutati said Zambia’s micro economic fundamentals were going in the right direction as inflation was low and exchange rate stable.
He said good governance and policy consistency had been the hallmark of Zambia’s economic gains so far.
This was according to a statement made available by press secretary at the Zambian mission in South Africa Naomi Nyawali.
Mr Mutati expressed gratitude to the South African investors for investing more than US$ 1billion in various sectors of the Zambian economy.
He said Zambia was now a preferred investment destination on the African continent.
He also called on African governments to prioritise infrastructure development to enable the continent compete effectively at the international level.
He observed that Africa’s competitiveness was being eroded as freight costs were as high as 200 per cent in most countries.
Mr Mutati said there was need for innovative financing and better use of the existing infrastructure as key to handling infrastructure deficit that Africa was grappling with.
He appealed to the private sector to partner with Governments to introduce new technologies that would help in bridging the infrastructure gap.
Meanwhile, in an interview at the weekend, the Finance minister said the Government’s fiscal discipline is yielding positive results.
Mr Mutati said the Government’s resolve had resulted in the country’s economic fundamentals going in the right direction so far.
Mr Mutati said the Government’s expenditure control contributed to the Bank of Zambia lowering the Policy Rate to 11 per cent from 12.5 per cent and reducing the Statutory Reserve Ratio from 12.5 per cent to 9.5 per cent on August 10 this year.