Mutati wants alternative Swedish cash

Felix Mutati
Felix Mutati
Finance Minister Felix Mutati wants to test financial solutions from the west in order to strike a balance that may protect Zambian industry in case of a bubble burst in any other global financial region.
Mr Mutati made this call when he met investors from the energy sector, hedge funders and top government officials in Sweden’s capital Stockholm during his European business road-show of economic diplomacy.
“We need to diversify our financial solutions and add other (without discarding existing ones) partnerships instead of sticking to one particular partnership as we try to create competition in Trade Corporation,” said Mr Mutati.
“Refusing to get out of one box of finance solution could have dire consequences on our good intentions to develop Zambia, create jobs and reduce poverty as per President Lungu’s intention.”
Mr Mutati who met some of the best hedged companies in Sweden whose revenues annually in some instances exceed $15 billion said, depending on ‘one regional partnership’ as business goes global could be counter-productive in the long run.
It is like putting all your eggs in one basket he said.
“Partnering largely in one region means if there is a crisis in that region Zambia’s industry could equally shutdown based on its partner’s business misfortune, This happens in business all the time, “Mr Mutati said.
“For some of us working for President Lungu, Zambia, and share his vision, we must be smart and not put all the eggs in one basket. President Lungu wants to reduce poverty, we must help him clean the deck in order to achieve the dream. We are coming from a tough eighteen months,” said the Finance Minister.
Ostensibly, the Finance Minister who completed a tour of Europe, mainly Brussels, Paris and Stockholm was saying Zambia could be best placed globally if it applied a blend of the “eastern and western” money without at any point discarding one or the other, as they are both crucial in GDP growth.
Accompanied by his Permanent Secretary Chikuba Mukuli, Charge de Affaires, embassy of Zambia in Sweden Anthony Mukwita and a strong team from the Ministry of Finance during his meetings, Mr Mutati assured Business Sweden that Zambia wanted to raise its business dealings level with them to a new high in 2017.
“I have to re-energise the economy of Zambia and create stability and clean the deck so that we can make President Lungu’s promises to the people of Zambia easier to realise. We do not want to forget the poorest of the poor in Zambia as we do this hence the reason for diversified financial solutions.”
Mr Mutati said the reason for ‘not forgetting the poor’ in all financial solutions was largely because they made up a large part of not only President Lungu’s constituency but Zambia as a nation.
His clarion call was heard by Business Sweden Head of International Strategic solutions Olav Hemstrom, Henerik Cederine the ambassador of Sweden in Zambia and other business heavy hitters in Stockholm.
Sweden is probably one of the wealthiest countries in Western Europe with some of the highest standards of living infact in the entire world with affordable money to invest abroad according to official studies.
Mr Mukwita said during the marathon economic diplomacy hustings, Mr Mutati met in a move unprecedented:
• Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister (Minister of Development Corporation and climate) Isabella Lovin
• SIDA Director General Lennart Bage
• Sweden’s Minister of Energy Ibrahim Baylan—Prime  Minister’s office
• Minister of Infrastructure Anna Johansson and of course
• Business Sweden that organised a round table meeting of all heavy hitters in the energy sector and Bombardier which has an interest to invest in Zambia.
Mr Mukwita said the finance minister not only won over Business Sweden but the government of Sweden.
Relations between Zambia and Sweden have peaked since the re-election of President Edgar Lungu in 2015 and 2016. Business Sweden believe they can trust President Lungu’s leadership in order to expand commerce.
“I understand this is one of the highest levels of ‘government to government’ meetings including ‘trade’ Zambia has had with partners Sweden since independence,” said Mr Mukwita.