LUSAKA, Republic of Zambia, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Internationally-recognised credit ratings agency Fitch has assigned Zambia a B+ sovereign rating in recognition of the huge economic strides the country has taken under His Excellency President Rupiah Banda.
Zambia received the fourth-highest non-investment grade rating supported by a "stable" outlook from Fitch. The impressive rating reflects "the marked improvement in Zambia's economic performance since 2003, driven by improved macroeconomic stability, economic liberalisation, rising private investment and production in the mining sector, and more recently, a strong agricultural performance," said Veronica Kalema, a director in Fitch's sovereign group.
Zambia's economy expanded over 7 percent in 2010, up from 6.4 percent in 2009. Growth has been driven by increased mining output, transport, communication, construction and agriculture.
The rating follows on the heels of global recognition for Zambia's economic achievements in the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation's 2011 'Doing Business' report. In that report, Zambia was named as one of the world's top ten reformers for ease of doing business. Zambia is also predicted to be one of the world's top ten fastest-growing economies for 2011 to 2015 - showing that there are good times ahead for the Zambian economy.
President Rupiah Banda, who has committed himself to delivering economic prosperity to all Zambians, said, "We have worked successfully to create strong foundations on which to build tomorrow's Zambia. Our economy has delivered growth of more that 6.6% despite the global recession, thanks to sound government policies, and it is good that this is being recognised on the world stage.
He continues: "My goal has always been for Zambia to achieve a better place in the world. We will achieve this through establishing security, stability and prosperity for all Zambians. Having a stable economy which will yield jobs and increase foreign investment, erode poverty and maintain steady food production and lower prices is critical, and my government will continue to work hard to achieve this on behalf of all the Zambia people."
Issued by: Dickson Jere SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
SOURCE State House Lusaka, Republic of Zambia