By ZamChro Correspondent,
Zambia found itself on Forbes list of the “Best Countries for Business 2009” ranking fairly well around the world and close to leading on the African continent just ahead of Egypt. The Zambian Enterprise came in 7th on the continent of Africa as Mauritius led the continent followed by Botswana.
Notable on the list among other emerging markets, it beat countries like Argentina, Russia, Algeria and even Pakistan which until recently was just behind India according to other rankings.
Privatization of government-owned copper mines in the 1990s relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly improved the chances for copper mining to return to profitability and spur economic growth.
Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and foreign investment. In 2005, Zambia qualified for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative, consisting of approximately USD 6 billion in debt relief.
Zambia experienced a bumper harvest in 2007, which helped to boost GDP and agricultural exports and contain inflation.
Although poverty continues to be significant problem in Zambia, its economy has strengthened, featuring single-digit inflation, a relatively stable currency, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade.
The decline in world commodity prices and demand will hurt GDP growth in 2009, and elections and campaign promises are likely to weaken Zambia’s improved fiscal stance.
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