Zambia and IMF agree to chart path towards debt sustainability

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LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to chart a new path towards debt sustainability after the IMF said Africa’s No.2 copper producer was at high risk of debt distress, the ministry of finance said in a statement on Monday.

Zambia’s publicly guaranteed debt increased from 36 percent of gross domestic product at the end of 2014 to 60 percent at end of 2016, the IMF said last week.

“The government agreed to provide data on recent developments in the economy, the 2018 budget and the borrowing plans,” the finance ministry statement said.

“Once this data had been reviewed and validated, the IMF would field a staff visit to Zambia with the objective of redefining the macroeconomic framework.”

The government said in September that it would resume talks on an IMF aid programme in October and hopes to board approval from the international lender by the end of 2017

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