By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said the Government is on course with the economic reform and transformation agenda despite the country’s power supply and fiscal space constraints.
The Minister was making a presentation to Zambia’s financial asset investors on the sidelines of the 2019 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Dr Ng’andu took the opportunity to share an in-depth perspective on the state of the economy; the 2020 Budget; and the medium term debt strategy.
He highlighted the strides that the country has made in its development efforts through measures targeted at addressing some external, internal and natural vulnerabilities being faced.
Dr Ng’andu discussed issues ranging from growth, fiscal adjustment, investment flows, debt and Zambia’s financing plans going forward.
He said the last eight months, revenue collections were 9.9 percent above the budget target for the period in reference to resource mobilisation efforts.
The Minister also clarified that the upward movement of the external debt figure over the last few fiscal quarters mainly reflects new disbursements from already contracted and existing loans.
“Among the assurances sought by the investors was Zambia’s plans related to the current Eurobonds, asset monetization, fiscal adjustment and the commitment to achievement of macro-economic targets.
“The Government is in the process of developing a Eurobond refinancing strategy which, once Cabinet approves, will be published, the said to the investors’ audience,” he said.
Dr Ng’andu also said that the dismantling of domestic arrears remains a priority that will be implemented to the latter in 2020 and beyond.
The resounding applause received by the Minister at the end of his address to investors from North America, South America, Europe, Middle-East and Asia, at an Investors Forum held at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC, USA, is a sign that the international community is confident in the measures being implemented by the Zambian Government to restore fiscal health, and stabilise and grow the economy.
The applause accorded to the Zambian team is also an endorsement that the country is on the right track in her pursuit of economic stabilisation, growth, fiscal consolidation, debt sustainability, and strengthened development cooperation with all local and international partners.
The Minister was accompanied to the Investors Forum by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary (Economic Management and Finance) Mukuli Chikuba and Bank of Zambia Director (Economics) Dr Jonathan Chipili.
This is contained in a statement issued by Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta.