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Economy of Zambia

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Economy of Zambia Empty Economy of Zambia

Bài gửi  kosovohp on Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:19 pm

About 68% of Zambians live below the recognised national poverty line,[22] with rural poverty rates standing at about 78%[23] and urban rates of 53%.[24] Zambia ranked 117th out of 128 countries on the 2007 Global Competitiveness Index, which looks at factors that affect economic growth.[25] Per capita annual incomes are currently at about one-half their levels at independence and, at $395, place the country among the world's poorest nations. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (about 40.9 years) and maternal mortality (830 per 100,000 pregnancies).[26] The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS related issues place on the economy.

During the decades of Kaunda's socialist policies, Zambia fell into poverty, especially after international copper prices declined in the 1970s. The socialist regime made up for falling revenue with several abortive attempts at International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programmes (SAPs). After the dictatorship ended, successive governments have begun limited reforms. The economy stagnated until late 1990s. In 2007 Zambia recorded ninth consecutive year of economic growth. Inflation was 8.9%, down from 30% in 2000.[27]

Zambia is still dealing with economic reform issues such as the size of the public sector and improving Zambia's social sector delivery systems.[27] Economic regulations and red tape are extensive, and corruption is widespread. Zambia's total foreign debt exceeded $6 billion when the country qualified for Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) debt relief in 2000, contingent upon meeting certain performance criteria. Initially, Zambia hoped to reach the HIPC completion point, and benefit from substantial debt forgiveness, in late 2003.

In January 2003, the Zambian government informed the IMF and World Bank that it wished to renegotiate some of the agreed performance criteria calling for privatisation of the Zambia National Commercial Bank and the national telephone and electricity utilities. Although agreements were reached on these issues, subsequent overspending on civil service wages delayed Zambia's final HIPC debt forgiveness from late 2003 to early 2005, at the earliest. In an effort to reach HIPC completion in 2004, the government drafted an austerity budget for 2004, freezing civil service salaries and increasing a number of taxes. The tax hike and public sector wage freeze prohibited salary increases and new hires. This sparked a nationwide strike in February 2004.

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