Magazine awards Zambia first prize for the best sovereign bond

Magazine awards Zambia first prize for the best sovereign bond

sampaZAMBIA has been awarded first prize for the best sovereign bond in Europe, Middle East and Africa Region for the year 2012, by a Magazine called Global Trade  Review found here
The Global Trade Review Finance magazine bestowed the prestigious award on Zambia during the 2012 Achievement and Project Finance ceremony at the Law Society’s Common Room in London, United Kingdom, yesterday.
Ministry of Finance public relations officer Chileshe Kandeta announced this in Lusaka yesterday.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, who received the award after the country’s successful issuance of the US$750 million international bond, said the honour would spur Government to work even more diligently.
Global Trade Review is an emerging markets trade finance, commodity finance and export finance journal, established in 2002.
Mr Chikwanda said political harmony in Zambia had been the platform where the country’s strong economic growth and macroeconomic stability had been built.
“I want to assure you that the award will spur us to work yet more diligently to ensure that the global investor community never has cause to feel that they misplaced or misallocated their trust and confidence in a moribund economy, which ours is not,” he said.
The minister said over the past 10 years, Zambia had posted real Gross Domestic Product growth of above five per cent in every single year, with an average growth of seven per cent in the past two years, compared to 5.2 per cent for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
Zambia’s fiscal deficit has averaged 3.4 per cent, while annual average inflation over the same period was 6.6 per cent.
Total exports grew by an average 13 per cent, with international reserves growing by 30 per cent to $2.5 billion at the end of last year from $1.8 billion in 2010.
“Although our exchange rate has been impacted by volatility in the international capital markets, it has remained competitive, supporting growth in non-copper exports which has averaged 50 per cent over the past two years,” he said.
Mr Chikwanda noted that the overall economic growth had largely been driven by the mining sector as well as the agriculture, construction, transport and communication, and manufacturing sectors.
The mining sector has been a source of significant Foreign Direct Investment inflows which, for the whole country, have averaged over $1 billion per annum over the past two years.
The minister, however, regretted that Zambia’s strong macroeconomic performance had not translated into significant poverty reduction.
Zambia’s overall poverty remains at about 60 per cent in rural areas and around 23 per cent in urban areas.
“To address these challenges, we have focused our efforts on investing in the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and construction sectors where Zambia has a comparative advantage,” Mr Chikwanda said.

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