The United States of America Treasury has expressed readiness of the world’s biggest economy to support Zambia in the pursuit of a program with the International Monetary Fund.
Eric Meyer the United States of America Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa, Middle East and Multilateral Development Banks wished Zambia the best in its efforts to stabilise the economy and look forward to improved mutual trust in relationship with the Fund.
The US Treasury representative commended Zambia for the bold decision to maintain the VAT tax system, which decision, according to the observation by the US Treasury, helped to remove uncertainty in the business community in Zambia and among the country’s development partners across the globe.
Mr Meyer also commended Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu for re-affirming the Zambian Governments commitment to address the debt situation.
He the Minister was also commended for the measures taken to dismantle domestic arrears.
Responding to the discussion points by Mr Meyer, the Minister of Finance reiterated that the Zambian Government fully recognises the role which the Fund plays in assisting countries to effectively manage their macroeconomic environment and stabilise their economy.
Dr Ng’andu invited the US to consider investing in the Zambian energy sector with special focus on solar and thermal energy options.
The Minister stated that Zambian authorities have been working with different partners to improve data availability and credibility in the mining sector to ensure that suspicions that arise on mineral production are eliminated.
He said further that his Ministry is confident of the capacity that exists at the Zambia Revenue.
Dr N’gandu said efforts are being stepped-up to ensure that the current efficiency challenges in domestic resource mobilisation, related to tax evasion, smuggling and other tax avoidance practices, are overcome.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has confirmed that they will field a staff visit to Zambia in a fortnight to exchange data and views on policies government is undertaking to stabilizing the economy.
This came to light at a bilateral meeting between the Zambian team led by Dr Ng’andu and the IMF Director for the African Region, Abebe Sellasie Deputy Director (Africa Region) David Robinson Mission Chief Dan Gura and other senior IMF officials.
Dr Ng’andu was accompanied to the meeting with the IMF by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba and Deputy Secretary to Cabinet Christopher Mvunga.
Others were Bank of Zambia Governor Dr Denny Kalyalya, Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary for Monitoring and Evaluation Danies Chisenda and Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary for Economic Management and Finance Mukuli Chikuba.
The Zambian delegation also held a bilateral meeting with the French Executive Directorate to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The Minister returns to Zambia today.
This is according to a statement issued by Ministry spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta.