Government says the favourable performance of the economy in several sectors such as in mining, agriculture and tourism is expected to register strong economic growth in the next half of 2011.
Finance and National Planning Deputy Minister Chileshe Kapwewe says the increased copper production at 740 thousand metric tonnes and the record maize bumper harvest of 2.7 million metric tonnes were some of the indicators of good performance in the economy.
Addressing members of the diplomatic staff at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC when she paid a courtesy call on Ambassador of Zambia to the USA, Sheila Siwela, the Deputy Minister of Finance said the government had revised its economic growth targets from 5.8 to 6.6 per cent on account of a higher than expected performance in the first half of 2010.
She said the government was hopeful that Zambia would achieve its target of 8.0 per cent inflation by the end of the year.
Kapwepwe also stated that the government was in the process of finalizing the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP)(2010-2015) whose focus is on infrastructure and human capital development.
She said the SNDP is due to be launched in November 2010 after taking into account the comments of the stakeholders who held a meeting between September 29 and October 1st, 2010.
On tourism, the Deputy Minister also acknowledged government’s positioning of the sector as the second most important segment of economic activity in Zambia.
She said in a bid to exploit its potential and expand tourism to other provinces within Zambia, government was working on development projects that will attract huge investments such as the Kasaba Bay Tourism Resort Development Project.
Ms. Kapwepwe said government was encouraging public private partnerships into the Kasaba Bay area in order to develop a fully fledged tourism resort with all necessary public amenities.
Earlier,in her welcome remarks, Ambassador of Zambia to the USA, Mrs. Sheila Siwela revealed that the Zambian Embassy in the USA had embarked on an aggressive program to attract more tourists to Zambia than it has done in the past.
She said currently, the number of tourists that visit Zambia from North America stood at 40,000 per year and that with the marketing strategy that the Embassy had put in place the numbers could increase for the better.
It was for this reason that in conjunction with the Zambia Tourist Board through the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, a successful Zambia Travel Show to five cities in the United States of America and Canada had just been undertaken.
She also added that the tourism sector in Zambia was more attractive than other neighboring countries and called for all Zambians in the diaspora and at home to market its potential in the most positive manner.
Ms. Kapwepwe is in Washington DC to attend the 2010 IMF/World Bank annual meetings taking place from the 8th – 10th October, 2010.
She is accompanied by the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Likolo Ndalamei , Dr. Richard Chembe, the Special Assistant to the President for Economic and Development Affairs and senior economists from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.
From the Bank of Zambia is the Bank Governor, Dr. Caleb Fundanga, the Deputy Governor(Operations), Dr. Danny Kalyalya and Directors of Various departments within the Bank.
This is according to a press statement sent to the Watchdog by Ben Kangwa, the press Secretary at the USA embassy