Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Finance Minister says 2023 Spring Meetings in Washington going on well

Share

Finance and National Planning Minister Dr SITUMBEKO MUSOKOTWANE has described the first day of the 2023 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) as “engaging, reassuring and a healthy platform for consolidating Zambia’s attractiveness as one of Africa’s best reformers and investment destinations.”

“The meetings have started on a good note for Zambia,” he declared. During the day’s series of meetings with the WBG, IMF, and various IMF Executive Directorates, namely, Japan, and Netherlands and Belgium, Zambia took the opportunity to engage the global community on the economy, infrastructure development through public private partnerships, implementation of the on-going IMF Enhanced Credit Facility Programme, and on the benefits of attaining sustainable debt status to both the country and creditors, upon the anticipated successful completion of the debt restructuring process under the G-20 Common Framework.

“To deal with food supply constraints in the region, we will implement measures to not only improve the productivity of our small-scale farmers, but also attract large scale capital, technology and skills so that more agro-based jobs are created for our citizens; wealth circulates in communities via out-grower ventures; and, that the yawning market is flooded with Zambia produced food in the near-term,” stated the Minister.

Dr MUSOKOTWANE took the opportunity to thank the WBG for being a strong partner in development throughout the ages. “We express our gratitude for the support in rehabilitating TAZAMA pipelines and enabling the country to start importing finished petroleum products,” he added.

To help sustain the usability of the country’s major roads due to elevated mining activities aimed at moving the country’s production from just less than 900 tons to over 3 million tons per annum, in a decade, Dr MUSOKOTWANE called on the WBG to provide technical assistance for logical chain initiatives related to railway infrastructure through Public Private Partnership’s, so that reliable passages are created for movement of goods from the mining regions of Zambia and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, to export markets.


Dr KWAKWA, the WBG Vice President for East and Southern Africa, says the socio-economic-dividend related to investment in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, green energy development and mining should manifest through more jobs, better livelihoods and tangible contribution to the growth of Zambia’s economy. “We call on Zambia to adopt a balanced approach in promoting commercial and small-scale farming ventures to ensure that the country benefits from the best of both worlds,” she added.

Furthermore, she commended Zambia for removing the import duty on maize because it was an assurance that despite the current challenges, the livelihoods of citizens would be protected through affordable food. Dr KWAKWA also assured the Zambian delegation that the WBG was keen to offer the country on Public Private Partnership Technical Assistance to help accelerate the further opening-up of the regional trade corridor.

During meetings with the IMF Executive Directors for Japan and Belgium/Netherlands, the Minister appealed for continued support in resolving Zambia’s debt restructuring process through the G-20 Common Framework. He clarified that the initial anticipation that the process would conclude by March, 2023, had not materialized despite the country meeting all set benchmarks. “We call on all creditors to continue their respectable processes of moving towards the signing of the memorandum of understanding on the debt restructuring process,” he emphasized.

Dr Musokotwane took the opportunity to brief the Executive Directors on Zambia’s performance under the ongoing Enhanced Credit Facility Programme for Zambia/IMF Programme. He indicated that, as affirmed by the IMF Mission Chief for Zambia ALLISON HOLLAND during a recent staff visit to Zambia, the country had so far performed exceptionally well in implementing agreed reform measures.

On Tuesday, Zambia’s delegation was scheduled to engage in various meetings such as a bilateral meeting with the US Treasury, the World Bank Africa Group 1 Constituency Meeting, a forum on multilateral development bank reforms, a bilateral meeting with the IMF African Department, a bilateral meeting with IMF Executive Directorate for Italy, a bilateral meeting with IMF Executive Directorate for China, and a high-level round table on challenges and opportunities for the roll-out of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The Spring Meetings of the IMF and WBG commenced on Monday, April 10, and will end on Sunday, April 16, 2023.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Why is it once these two guys are out of the country that is when the Kwacha starts to perform well? Why? We need updates on what is being discussed there, please don’t operate in silence, the nation as a whole must know what is being discussed, break it down in layman terms for all to understand how these talks will affect the economy at both micro and macro level. How will the talks affect the exchange rate and how will the affect inflation in Zambia, how will it affect the employment rate, the construction, energy, mining and the agricultural sectors?

  2. What are Spring Meetings? Dont just copy and paste American nomenclatures and pass them to us you poor reporters

  3. It’s actually the dollar which has weakened due to the collapse of some banks in the USA and worries about a global recession. The de-dollarisation efforts by the BRICS nation could also be driving a negative sentiment against the dollar. Noted that the South Rand has also appreciated despite the loadshedding, and negative growth of the SA economy.

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site - LusakaTimes.com

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading