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World Bank reaffirms Zambia's positive economic growth

Xinhua, June 19, 2014 Adjust font size:

The World Bank has said Zambia will continue recording higher economic growth rates largely driven by massive investments in the mining sector and high domestic demand for goods, the Times of Zambia reported on Wednesday.

In its third economic briefing on Zambia, the World Bank said the southern African nation was on course for higher economic growth rates.

"The medium-term outlook is for growth to stay robust, supported by domestic demand and the global recovery, but with real downward risks," the bank was quoted as saying in its economic brief.

Real Growth Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to increase from an estimated 6.4 percent in 2013 to 6.5 percent and to stabilize around 6.5 percent in 2015-16," the bank added.

The briefing has however warned that changing external conditions, tightening of international financial conditions, and declining copper prices were likely to lead to higher borrowing costs, volatile portfolio flows and lead to lower investment and growth.

Kundhavi Kadiresan, the bank's representative in Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe said it was of great importance for Zambia to maintain the current economic direction in order to consolidate fiscal position.

The World Bank official however expressed concern that the gains in the growth sectors were often transient and that firms exit the export market nearly as soon as they enter it.

Meanwhile, Zambia's Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda said the bank's economic brief would provide useful information to the public on the country's economic activities and that this would help the country remain among the 10 fastest growing economies in the world and among the fourth in the sub-Saharan African region.

The Zambian minister said efforts to diversify the economy have started bearing fruits with the strong growth being recorded in non-traditional exports.

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