LUSAKA, June 5 (Xinhua) — The Zambian government on Wednesday expressed optimism that the country’s economy will rebound as the current economic slowdown was temporary.

Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane said the economy is expected to rebound because Zambia is experiencing expansions and attracting investments in various sectors of the economy, such as the mining industry.

In remarks delivered during a meeting organized by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers, the minister said the economic growth projection for this year has been cut to 2.7 percent, down from 4.7 percent, due to challenges like unstable foreign exchange and drought caused by climate change.

The government is implementing strategic interventions aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability, enhancing economic efficiency and ultimately boosting private sector-led economic growth through enhanced investments, he said.

“I wish to reiterate government’s unwavering commitment to supporting and collaborating with the private sector. Your growth and ability to capitalize on upcoming investment opportunities are cardinal to Zambia’s prosperity,” Musokotwane said.

He expressed optimism that the debt-restructuring process would be concluded before the end of this year, adding that bondholders have agreed to extend the debt repayment period.

The government, he said, is having discussions with commercial creditors.

Ashu Sagar, the president of the Zambia Association of Manufacturers, urged the government to consider clearing some of the bottlenecks affecting the growth of the manufacturing sector, such as delayed remittance of valued-added-tax refunds and the manufacturing corporate tax, which now stands at 30 percent.