Standard Chartered Bank is optimistic of Zambia’s long-term economic prospects being bright, regardless of the challenges currently experienced in the economy.
The institution’s optimism is banked on the positive performance of the private sector, as reviewed by its Chief Executive Officer, Sonny Zulu.
This is according to a statement issued on Monday indicating that Zulu talked about his optimism at the British Chamber of Commerce Annual Event held at the Standard Chartered Bank Head Office recently.
“Government has done a lot of work around continuing the debt restructuring conversations and attracting investment into growth sectors of the economy such as renewable energy and mining. These efforts will eventually yield positive economic outcomes,” Zulu said.
Zulu said it was even more encouraging that Zambia’s cooperating partners, such as the United Kingdom government were already working with its private companies to attract investments into the country.
“Some US$2 billion worth of investment deals are already in the pipeline. This is a significant investment pipeline by any measure and that is why we are confident that Zambia will come out of this challenging period and emerge stronger and resilient in the long term,” he said.
Bank’s Board Chair, Dolika Banda, was confident that every crisis created opportunities for growth and innovation.
This, according to Banda, was the time to do things differently.
She pointed out inflationary pressures, high exchange rate and the debt restructuring negotiations which were still ongoing as some of the factors causing a lot of distress to the bank’s clients and the economy at large.
Banda also acknowledged that apart from the global economic challenges, Zambia was faced with some unique circumstances exacerbated by the debt crisis and low copper production.
“Considering the steps being taken by the Central Bank, like increasing the statutory reserve ratio twice in one month to the tune of 5.5 percent, it is evident that the regulator recognises that it is not business as usual.
“At Standard Chartered, we are, and we will continue, to play our part,” she said.
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