Sunday, January 18, 2009

Zambia president targets 5 pct growth in 2009

Zambian President Rupiah Banda said on Friday that the mineral-rich country is aiming for five percent economic growth in 2009, sticking with earlier forecasts from the treasury despite the worsening global economy.

"Given the present economic situation, my government will continue to pursue prudent fiscal and monetary policies, to do otherwise would be folly and irresponsible," Banda said in his annual address to parliament.

"Our aim is to achieve the projected five percent gross domestic product (GDP)."

Zambia's Treasury in December forecast the economy to grow 5.0 percent this year.

Banda, who launched a second multi-facility economic zone for Chinese firms on Thursday, where companies will be exempted from some taxes, said the programme was aimed at creating jobs and wealth to help grow the economy.

The government would spend more funds in 2009 promoting tourism, power projects, further oil exploration and constricting roads, bridges and other infrastructure, he said.