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Construction, tourism sectors key in 3.7% growth rate

CHIKWANDA

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
BANK of Zambia director of economics Francis Chipimo says the revised growth rate of 3.7 percent this year will be anchored on anticipated strong performance from the construction and tourism sectors.
Last week, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda disclosed in a ministerial statement that in 2016, the economy is projected to grow around 3.7 percent against the budget projection of seven percent due to a continuation of factors such as adverse weather conditions, persistent electricity deficit and low copper prices.
Nevertheless, Mr Chikwanda said Government has taken measures to increase the resilience of the economy to both external and domestic shocks by stepping up development of irrigation development facilities, redesigning of the mineral royalty to ensure sustained operations in the mining sector, while at the same time minimising the impact of the fiscal position.
Commenting on the development, Mr Chipimo said gross domestic product (GDP) will still be positive despite the current challenges.
“Anticipated growth is expected from the construction sector which is booming, with increased cement production that is supporting infrastructure development in roads, housing and other projects.”
“Growth is also expected from tourism especially on the accommodation side with increased bed space to be recorded when the country later in the year hosts two international conferences, which is the Inter-Parliamentary Union [IPU] and the African Development Bank meetings,” he said.
Mr Chipimo also said growth is expected to be supported from the energy sector when power generation facilities such as Maamba’s coal-fired power plant and Itezhi Tezhi hydro-electricity power station are commissioned later this year.

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