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Thursday, 9 March, 2017

Minister of Finance Continues Engagement with International Cooperation Partners and Investor Community

In recent weeks, the Hon Felix Mutati, has continued his engagement with the Republic’s international partners, to update them on the Administration’s reform agenda.  The purpose of the visits was to update stakeholders outside of Zambia on the key aspects of the reform agenda, and to seek their commitments for investment in the country. Stakeholders engaged include multilateral and bilateral cooperation partners, think tanks, rating agencies, bond market investors and equity investors.

Feedback from stakeholders was positive during the course of the visits. The stakeholders appreciated the candid acknowledgement of the challenges Zambia faces. as well as the Administration’s plans to address the challenges Zambia faces through the Economic Recovery Programme were also well received.  The 5 key pillars of the Economic Recovery Plan are:

  1. Enhance domestic resource mobilisation and refocusing public spending on core mandates;
  2. Scale-up Government’s social protection programmes to shield the most vulnerable segments of society;
  3. Improve economic and fiscal governance by raising the levels of accountability and transparency in the allocation and use of public finances;
  4. Restore budget credibility by minimising unplanned expenditures and halting accumulation of arrears through use of legislation and systems; and
  5. Ensure greater economic stability, growth and job creation through policy consistency to raise confidence for sustained private sector investment.

A number of positive developments have been realised following the visits, which include a commitment from the European Investment Bank and expression of interests commercial investors who expressed interest in investing in Zambia. This year, Zambia is confident that cooperating partners will disburse budget support in excess of USD 400 million. Zambia also received commitments of US$134 million financing from investors based in Africa, Europe and the Middle East; in line with financing requirements set out in our 2017 budget. A testament to the positive view investors have of the efforts the Zambian government is taking to reset the economy on a positive trajectory. Proceeds will be used to complete some of the on-going infrastructure projects and allow the government to dismantle arrears and is contained within the 2017 budget’s borrowing envelope while remaining consistent with prudent debt management priorities.

The Ministry would like to thank all of its partners, for their proactive engagement and high quality dialogue over the recent meetings and remains committed to regular dialogue and updates going forward.