Stanbic Bank has geared up to join forces with mining companies to develop the full potential of the country’s extractive industry.
The bank made the promise at its annual Economic and Mining Roadshow in the North-Western and Copperbelt provinces.
According to the bank, the engagement brought together various players from the extractive industry, including mining firms, financial institutions and other support industries, to share knowledge and experiences and discuss the industry’s most pressing matters.
Leina Gabaraane, Stanbic Bank Chief Executive said the forum presented a unique platform for sector players to discuss industry issues and identify possible channels for cooperation in all areas connected to mining.
“Being one of the biggest banks in Zambia, we have a responsibility to help drive the economy forward through consistent and timely financial support in the country’s growth sectors,” said Gabaraane.
He said, even though the country has many industries like agriculture and tourism that are key drivers of GDP growth, mining remains an important pillar of our economy representing over 75 percent of exports and 14 percent of GDP.”
Gabaraane highlighted that despite a short deterioration brought on by falling global commodity prices between 2015 and 2016, the extractive industry has shown signs of improvement in 2017 and has continued the same trend this year.
Having an economy that is predominantly dependent on mining, growth in the sector supports investment in other growth industries thereby promoting the expansion of the larger economy.
“Without support from sector players and financial institutions, we cannot expect the mining industry and indeed the broader economy to grow,” he added.
Stanbic has in the last 10 years invested over US$3billion in mining to stimulate growth in the sector and all supporting industries.
Victor Chileshe, Head of Global Markets at Stanbic Bank said while the gains in the extractive industry are cause for optimism in terms of economic recovery, the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey predicts this year’s GDP growth to be mainly driven by the consumer sector.
“We expect the economy to grow at a rate above 4 percent driven primarily by the consumer sector. Significant growth in demand in the services, wholesale and retail sectors supported the private sector’s return to growth last month and we expect it to continue supporting our economy’s growth.
Current indicators paint a very positive picture for our economy going forward,” he said.
Meanwhile Gabaraane said Stanbic did not take for granted the partnership it enjoyed with stakeholders in the industry in its quest to contribute to economic development.
“Stanbic will continue to stand behind the mining industry and provide support through innovative sector specific services and products as well as financial backing.”