A stable macroeconomic environment is critical for achieving sustainable growth in the Zambian economy, former Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Caleb Fundanga has said.
Dr Fundanga said it was important for the Government to ensure that the macroeconomic environment was conducive enough for the economy to continue on its growth path.
He called for stringent measures such as guarding against instability in the economy which has led to the depreciation of the Kwacha to be put in place if the Zambian economy was to be sustainable.
Dr Fundanga noted that depreciation of the Kwacha and over dependence on copper exports were some of the reasons that have adversely affected the Zambian economy.
Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia event in Lusaka, Dr Fundanga said over dependence on one commodity has led to the vulnerability of the country’s earnings as well as the value of the local currency.
“About 70 per cent of our export earnings are coming from copper and as long as we remain depended on it, the consequences will be immense,” Dr Fundanga said.
It was important to ensure that proceeds from the copper industry were invested into productive sectors such as agriculture to support economic growth.
Dr Fundanga, who is President of the Institute for Finance and Economics, also commended the chamber for furthering development of commerce between the United States and Zambia.
He said through the collective action, economic integration would break down barriers preventing companies to compete favourably hence creating a bigger market for Zambian businesses.
“One of the objectives of the Chamber is to gather and disseminate information on trade and investment and to represent the interest of members in matters of trade and investment as well as to promote, encourage and facilitate commerce between the US, the business community and government of Zambia,” he said.
Dr Fundanga was disappointed that Zambian enterprises have not done anything to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The business community should use the Chamber as a vehicle to promote regional integration and tackle AGOA in a more effective manner.
Times of Zambia