Tuesday, November 18, 2008

(TIMES) Musokotwane pledges to ensure economic growth’s afloat

Musokotwane pledges to ensure economic growth’s afloat
By Times Reporter

FINANCE and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane has pledged to ensure that Zambia’s economic growth is not overturned by the prevailing global crisis.

Dr Musokotwane said attracting foreign capital, in the face of the shrinking foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world, was also key to the improvement of Zambia’s economy and his target was to attract at least US$3 billion in investment annually.

He said if Zambia could attract between $3 billion and $4 billion worth of FDI every year, the national economy would stay afloat even with the current troubled economy of the world.

Dr Musokotwane said this in an interview in Lusaka yesterday when asked about his immediate pre-occupation, shortly after being sworn in by President Rupiah Banda at State House.

He said the 2009 national Budget would contain measures that would insulate Zambia against the possible effects of the current global financial trends while ensuring that economic benefits trickled down to the people.

He said that his ministerial team would put in place measures, which would counter the offshoots of the current economic difficulties in the world, which had been augmented by nose-diving copper prices.

“We will have to ensure that the Zambian economy does not post a negative national growth,” Dr Musokotwane said.

Dr Musokotwane said Zambia should further sell its investment potential individually because it had several unique advantages and it should therefore not be lumped together with other countries.

He said Zambia’s economy was small and investment of at least $3 billion annually would suffice to keep the economy buoyant.

Dr Musokotwane said that the investments, both local and foreign, would offset any possible effects of the slump in the global economy and the lowering prices of copper at London Metal Exchange (LME).

“We will continue talking to investors both local and foreign on the investment potential in the country,” he said.

He said that the 2009 Budget should also continue ensuring that the economic successes scored so far were translated into something concrete and trickled down to the majority of the people in the country.

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