Page 7 - Zambia YellowPages 2016
P. 7


                  Under the guidance of the Patriotic Front Government, the past   Credit to the private sector rose steeply in 2015, increasing by
                  five years have seen the development of a firm foundation to   20.9 percent to K27.2 billion as at end-August 2015 from K22.5
                  sustain broad-based and inclusive growth as well as the   billion as at end-December 2014. The bulk of credit comprised
                  diversification and deepening of economic resilience. While the   personal loans followed by credit accessed by the agriculture,
                  loss of President Sata in October 2014 was a devastating blow   manufacturing and wholesale and retail sectors. Current
                  to the nation, Zambia demonstrated its political maturity in the   constraints to further growth in domestic credit include tight
                  peaceful democratic elections which followed in January 2015   monetary conditions necessitated by the need to contain
                  and were won by Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Patriotic Front   inflation and well as high - albeit stable - interest rates of
                  candidate. Since taking office, President Lungu has shown his   around 20.5 percent.
                  passionate commitment to uplift the lives of all Zambians and
                                                                   The Zambian Government remains committed to the growth of
                  to skilfully steer the country through future challenges.
                                                                   the local bourse to facilitate long-term financing for private
                  For more than a decade the Zambian economy has been   sector investment. To attain this, the Alternative Investment
                  buoyant, registering average GDP growth of around 6 percent   Market was launched in April 2015 to cater for emerging
                  per annum which has propelled the country to lower-middle   corporates that are yet to meet the listing requirements on the
                                                                   main window. Furthermore, in order to increase opportunities
                  income status. Government remains determined to continue on
                  this positive and sustainable growth trajectory to become a   for Zambian citizens to participate in economic development
                  middle income country by the year 2030, given Zambia's   and to comply with listing requirements on the Lusaka Stock
                                                                   Exchange, Government has begun to reduce its shareholding in
                  resource endowments coupled with the resilient and entrepre-
                                                                   ZCCM-IH Plc, with 15.8 million shares, representing 36 percent
                  neurial spirit of its people.
                                                                   of available shares, having so far been sold to the National
                  Impressive steps have been taken to enhance the business   Pension Scheme Authority.
                  climate for private sector investment. According to the World
                                                                   The US $1.25 billion Eurobond that was issued in July 2015 as
                  Bank's'Doing Business' report for 2016, Zambia's has improved
                                                                   part of the financing required for the 2015 Budget has enabled
                  its ranking over a number of indicators, such as'Getting Credit'
                                                                   an array of infrastructure development initiatives in the
                  (in 19th place globally from 24th in 2015),'Paying Taxes' (to 46th
                                                                   transport, health, education and agriculture sectors. Further-
                  in the world from 81st in the preceding year), and in 'Dealing
                                                                   more, it has allowed investments in water supply and sanitation
                  with Construction Permits. Overall, Zambia is ranked 97th in
                                                                   infrastructure, recapitalisation of state-owned enterprises and
                  'Ease of Doing Business'against the regional average of 143rd.
                                                                   the provision of support to small and medium scale enterprises.
                  The implementation of the Financial Sector Development Plan,   Government shares in 29 out of 33 state-owned enterprises
                  which was concluded in mid-2015, resulted in the achievement   have been transferred from the Ministry of Finance to the
                  of a number of important milestones. These include the   Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) with a view to
                  establishment of the Credit Reference Bureau and the promo-  enhancing the strategic focus of parastatals and maximising
                  tion and development of financial infrastructure such as bank   their contribution to national development. In order to achieve
                  branches, agencies, ATMs and Point of Sale terminals across the   this objective, the IDC is promoting economic diversification
                  country to improve financial inclusion. As a result, the percent-  and higher levels of non-traditional exports by investing in
                  age of adult Zambians with access to financial services has   strategic non-mining sectors. In addition, dividends earned by
                  increased to 59 percent in 2015 from 36 percent in 2009.   the IDC will be channelled to the Sovereign Wealth Fund to spur
                                                                   further investment for the benefit of future generations.
                  The performance of the financial sector during the first nine
                  months of 2015 was satisfactory. Total assets and earnings   The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry regards the
                  increased, the capital adequacy position was strong, while the   2016/17 Zambia Yellow Pages as a positive contribution by the
                  overall liquidity position remained fair. Going forward, develop-  private sector towards promoting Zambia's business and
                  ments in the banking sector are expected to remain agreeable,   investment potential. This directory is an important tool for
                  and the Basel II Framework aimed at strengthening the safety   linking businesses locally and internationally, and I therefore
                  and soundness of the international financial system should be   encourage the business community to make productive use of
                  fully implemented by the Bank of Zambia in early 2016.   the 2016/17 Zambia Yellow Pages.

                 Margaret D. Mwanakatwe, MP
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