ZAMBIA S PUBLIC DEBT PRESENTED BY BANK OF ZAMBIA AT THE 2015 INTOSAI WORKING GROUP ON PUBLIC DEBT 22 ND TO 23 RD JULY LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

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1 ZAMBIA S PUBLIC DEBT PRESENTED BY BANK OF ZAMBIA AT THE 2015 INTOSAI WORKING GROUP ON PUBLIC DEBT 22 ND TO 23 RD JULY LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

2 INTRODUCTION Like in any other economy, Zambia s public debt issues are an important part of macroeconomic management and objectives; Zambia s macroeconomic objectives, as outlined in the vision 2030, are aimed at preserving and consolidating the macroeconomic stability achieved in recent years; In this regard, the formulation and implementation of prudent macroeconomic policies is pursued revolving around the four sectors of the economy, namely; the fiscal monetary real, and external sectors.

3 Key Macroeconomic Linkages...At a macroeconomic level, there is interaction of four key sectors (fiscal, monetary, households and firms, and the external sector) which impact on and re-enforce each. Fiscal Policy and the Government Budget Monetary Policy REAL GDP GROWTH (Households and Firms: Employment, Income growth and Poverty reduction) External Sector Policy

4 INTRODUCTION cont d To this end, the Zambian economy, which has been on a reform path since 1992, has registered relative macro-economic stability over the last decade as reflected by; Strong positive real GDP growth and rising per capita incomes Falling inflation and lower interest rates Favourable external sector performance Relative stability in the exchange rate; and stable growth in the financial sector.

5 INTRODUCTION Cont d Arising from the above sustained positive macro-economic indicators, Zambia marked 16 years of consecutive positive real GDP growth as at end 2014; Further, GDP per capita improved to US$1,805 in 2014 from US$349 in 2001 Inflation has been maintained in single digits since 2006 Interest rates progressively trending downwards to an average of 20.4% at end-december 2014 from 46.7% in 2001; External sector performance has improved reflecting increased metal exports and non-traditional exports (NTEs) and international reserves rising to about 3.7 months of import cover at end-2014 from 0.9 months in 2001; To accelerate economic development, Government runs fiscal deficits financed through borrowing, hence the public debt;

6 STRUCTURE OF ZAMBIA S PUBLIC DEBT Generally, Governments borrow from domestic or external sources; Zambia s public domestic debt mainly arises from; Government Securities which includes Treasury bills and Government bonds bridge loans borrowings from commercial banks through loans and advances Outstanding domestic debt arrears to suppliers and contractors and arrears on statutory payments such as pensions called up guarantees and parastatal debt (contingent liabilities) other sources are Awards and compensation.

7 STRUCTURE OF ZAMBIA S PUBLIC DEBT cont d Although domestic borrowing is an important source of public financing, caution must be exercised as extensive use of domestic borrowing can have severe implications on the economy through; Domestic interest payments may consume a significant part of government revenue; Excessive domestic borrowing could be inflationary; Crowding out the private sector as government competes with the productive sector for credit;

8 STRUCTURE OF ZAMBIA S PUBLIC DEBT cont d Zambia s external public debt mainly arises from; Loans from bilateral institutions Loans from multilateral institutions Loans from private banks financial obligations to international suppliers and Export Credit Agencies

9 STRUCTURE OF ZAMBIA S PUBLIC DEBT cont d SOURCE MAJOR CREDITORS Bilateral Paris and non-parish Club Members Multilateral International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), African Development Bank Group (ADB) Suppliers/Export Credit Agencies PTA Bank, Other Suppliers/Creditors

10 PUBLIC DEBT MANAGEMENT INSTITUTIONS The several principal laws and regulations which together constitute the legal frameworks for public debt management in Zambia include: The Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act Chapter 366 of the Laws of Zambia; The Loans and Guarantees (Maximum Amounts) Order; Local Loans (Registered Stock and Securities) Chapter 353 of the Laws of Zambia; The Loan (Stock, Bonds and Treasury Bills) Regulations; The Public Finance Act of 2004; and The Bank of Zambia Act of 1996 Chapter 360 of the Laws of Zambia. In the above principle laws and regulations, the key players in the management of Zambia s debt are the President, the Ministry of Finance through the Investment and Debt Management (IDM) Department and the Bank of Zambia. However, even though both the Parliament and the Civil Society are not enlisted in the above legal frameworks, they are also involved in the process of debt management.

11 KEY CHALLENGES TO EFFECTIVE PUBLIC DEBT MANAGEMENT IN ZAMBIA Fluctuations in debt dynamics, which mainly include changes in fiscal deficits, interest rates and exchange rates. Being a small open economy which is import dependent, Zambia remains vulnerable to external shocks such as high and volatile international commodity prices.

12 MEASURES FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC DEBT Government through the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Zambia has continued to observe acceptable global standards of debt management, in consistency with the aspiration to maintain sound credit worthiness while at the same time maintaining macroeconomic stability; The need for enhanced management of Zambia s debt has become even more critical following the attainment of Lower Middle Income status, which limits the scope of sources of concessional loans and exposes the country to more commercial loans; In view of the foregoing, and to ensure the continued strengthening of the country s financial solvency the following measures have been put in place aimed at effective management of public debt;

13 MEASURES FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC DEBT Cont d Government has committed to undertake regular debt sustainability analysis (DSA) as part of its post-hipc debt management reform programme and in line with sound debt management practice. To this effect, in 2014 Government undertook a DSA for Zambia. The objective of the DSA was to assess the sustainability of Zambia s current debt level and the prospective new borrowing requirements and sources in the medium to long term. In order to avoid or mitigate future liquidity challenges, Government has put in place a rolling Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS). The MTDS provides a framework to address potential liquidity challenges that may arise in servicing external debt. by putting in place a robust debt redemption and refinancing strategy underpinned by a prudent macroeconomic environment that fosters fiscal sustainability and supports growth.

14 MEASURES FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC DEBT Cont d Government recently reviewed the auction frequency, from weekly to fortnightly for Treasury bills and monthly to quarterly for Government bonds. Government intends to gradually shift from issuing more shorter term securities to longer term securities. These measures are meant to enhance liquidity management and mitigate refinancing risk.

15 MEASURES FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC DEBT Cont d Further, it is expected that full and effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) will result in more efficient and sustainable levels in debt. Full implementation of the TSA will result in an improvement of cash analysis, reduction of unnecessary Government borrowing through short-term bridge financing, and elimination the unethical practice of Government borrowing its own money through Treasury bills and bonds bought by Commercial Banks using Government s idle balances.

16 WAY FORWARD AND CONCLUSION Zambia s economic prospects remain positive underpinned by expected good domestic performance to be driven by the agricultural, manufacturing, mining, trade and wholesale, and construction sectors; GDP is expected to be above 5%, despite the drop in commodity prices and the lower agriculture output due to adverse weather conditions; Inflation is also expected to remain in single digit; and Recent Government initiatives aimed at improving public infrastructure across the country and lowering the cost of borrowing should also boost national output. In view of this positive outlook, supported with improved debt management capacities, it is anticipated that the current debt levels will continue to be sustainable in the medium to long term.

17 Thank You for Your Attention

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