Zambia’s domestic and external debt to reach 37% of GDP

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Zambia’s domestic and external debt for the year 2013 is projected to reach 37 percent of the country’s GDP.

Speaking this morning at media briefing, Sectary to Treasury Fredson Yamba, said in the continued discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), held from the 17th to 24th of September 2013, it has also been agreed that the fiscal deficit for 2013 will be higher than was projected.

Mr. Yamba has told journalists that from the discussions which are a continuation from the IMF July 2013 mission, government and the IMF have agreed on the broad medium term goals of economic policy aimed at maintaining strong growth, lowering the budget deficit and maintaining low inflation.

Mr. Yamba notes that these measures are in line with the strategic priorities of the government’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that has take cognizance of the tight fiscal pace available.

Speaking at the same media briefing, IMF mission Chief John Wakeman-Linn observed that to maintain strong economic growth, it is important for the country to safeguard competitiveness and build buffers against external shock.

Professor Wakeman-Linn says competitiveness would suffer if the higher wages currently being introduced by the government in the civil service do not match with higher productivity.

The IMF Team will return to Zambia in January, 2014 to initiate program discussions which are being held under Article four of the Articles of Agreement of the IMF.

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