Friday, November 28, 2008

(DAILY MAIL) State to unveil stimulus plan

COMMENT - A 'stimulus package' in the shape of more FDI.

State to unveil stimulus plan

GOVERNMENT will next year unveil a stimulus package that will help improve economic fundamentals and attract more foreign direct investment in the country.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Felix Mutati, said this at a luncheon when he met a business delegation from Korea that is in the country to explore investment opportunities particularly in the energy and mining sectors. The Korean investors have expressed interest to invest in the energy and mining sectors.

Mr Mutati also said that the country had found itself at a critical juncture in terms of the global circumstances, saying there was need for a stimulus package to improve the fundamentals of the economy by attracting more investments in the country.

Mr Mutati said the slow-down in commodity and stock prices has had a negative effect on the Zambian economy hence the need for a remedial stimulus package.

“We find ourselves at a critical junction in terms of global circumstances, 10 days ago the G20 met and came up with conclusions that there was no option but to slow down the fall-out of the global economy and create a robust economic and financial regime, and in a number of situations indicated that the market disruptions has had a negative effect on the stock and commodity prices coming down.

“And we are seeing it in Zambia that pricing of stocks is coming down, so we are not exempt from the global effects,” he said.

“In 2009 we will be relentless in pursuing investment. We are going to work hard and consolidate existing investment and vigorously attract new investments,” he said.

He urged the Western world, including Korea, to take advantage of investment opportunities in emerging markets and also diversify investment if they have to have a good return.

“Our country remains attractive in terms of bringing investments here. The basic approach is diversification of investment and value addition using the role materials.”

He also urged the investors to create secondary industries to create more employment and make profits.

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