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Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane says Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will slow down next year compared to earlier estimates because of the global economic crisis.

Dr. Musokotwane said this is on account of the unexpected slow down in the mining and toursim sectors following the global crunch.

He said this when he issued a ministerial statement in Parliament Friday on the impact of the Global financial crisis on the Zambian economy.

The minister has also warned that low copper prices pose a significant threat to economic growth achieved over the last five years.

The minister however said Government has already initiated dialogue with mining companies to assess how best the impact of the crisis can be mitigated.

He said if the low copper prices continue future investments in copper mining may decline.

Dr. Musokotwane however said the mining sector is still expected to grow next year because production in new mines will start.

Meawhile Dr. Musokotwane said there is a possibility that the financial crisis may affect the 2009 national budget.

 

Meanwhile, the National Airports Corporation plans to spend K5 billion to expand facilities at Livingstone International Airport.

Airport Service Director, Prince Chitimbwe says this will be done to expand facilities at the airport which has seen an increase in flights.

He further disclosed that Lusaka International Airport will also be given a facelift but did not say how much the project will cost.

The facelift will include improving immigration facilities and rehabilitating of shops in the terminal.

He said the corporation can now afford to embark on such projects because the financial position is steadily improving.

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