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CRI听力:Zimbabwe central bank chief urges confidence in economy

Source: CRI    2018-11-09  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

The central bank governor of Zimbabwe has suggested that the country's economy is getting back on track, and is calling on investors to restore business confidence in the country.

His call comes amid a new round of economic woes that have gripped the southern African nation following the introduction of new economy-boosting policies in early October.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, said that the new policies are making a positive contribution to his country's shattered economy.

"The Zimbabwean economy is improving now. After putting in place new measures, which were done in the 1st of October, we have seen that the response has been very good. We have seen companies, firms and individuals opening foreign currency accounts to ensure those have foreign currency, and can deposit it. We have seen individuals, who are used to keep their money home, bank it at the banks. And we have seen companies improving their export. So we are building right now stability, we are building confidence," said Mangudya.

Zimbabwe launched what it's called a transitional economic stabilization program on October 1st. It includes two percent tax on all electronic transactions, and the division of bank accounts into those with real inflows of dollars as well as those holding electronic money, known as real-time gross settlement.

However, the new measures have triggered public resistance, leading to the collapse of the value of the local currency, the bond note, which is a surrogate to the U.S. dollar. 

The result has been a panic-buying spree, with shops running out of basic commodities such as cooking oil and sugar, and motorists have been spending long hours queuing at gas stations.

The government has responded quickly to the worsening economic conditions, including by easing restrictions on imports to ensure more products can flow into the country.

Mangudya believes the crisis is now over, and that now is the time for people to have more confidence in the new government.

"We have short-term, mid-term and long-term measures. And what is going right now is to ensure that we increase the confidence. It is the most important things to be done. Confidence increases production. It increases more people come to Zimbabwe. You buy less products because there's no panic because of confidence. And businesses also keep their money in the bank."

Mangudya said the government is also working to reduce bank debt and slow consumer spending to reduce excess expenditure and rebalance the economy.

The country is also struggling to increase its exports in order to grow its foreign currency holdings. 

Mangudya said the restructuring of state-owned enterprises is also part of the new government's drive to streamline the economy. In this regard, he said that the country has drawn on China's experience. 

"We also want to work on the state owned enterprises to ensure they become more efficient, produce goods and services. If you look at China, the SOE are very important, we want to imitate and copy that arrangement, to privatize some of them, reorganize some of them, and to have concessions with some of them. It's a mixed bag," said Mangudya.

Zimbabwe's government has projected that the economy will expand by 6.3 percent this year, driven mainly by growth in the agriculture, mining, and construction sectors.


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