September 25, 2008

Country will remain open to trade, says Banda

Zambia will remain open to business in order to maintain economic gains made by the MMD in the last seven years, acting President, Rupiah Banda has said. According to him, Zambia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had risen from 3.3 per cent to 6.2 per cent since 2003. And the Government was determined to maintain and build upon these gains. "We will continue to build a strong Zambia. When I say I want to see continuity, good governance and economic prosperity for all - I mean it," Mr Banda said. As a percentage of GDP, he said, the service sector had grown from 50.1 per cent to 56.5 per cent and inflation was down from 25 per cent to 13.2 per cent. "I agree it could be lower - it was 8,9 per cent in December 2007 but we are all aware of the impact of high oil prices and increased food costs," he said.
Mr Banda said foreign investment had risen from $255 million in 2003 to $4.25 billion now with months to go before the end of the year and the Government would ensure that more investment poured in. He emphasised that the Government was tackling corruption hand-on and continue to do so because corruption sapped investor confidence. Earlier Commence, Trade and Industry, Felix Mutati said Zambia was a catchment of investment in the region. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)


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