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World Bank Projects Zimbabwe Economy Will Expand 7.1 Percent This Year

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, currently in the United States for consultations with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, projected a comparable 7 percent growth rate this year in his budget for 2010

The World Bank is forecasting economic growth of 7.1 percent in Zimbabwe this year on a rebound in activity, slowing to 6.3 percent in 2011.

The growth will outpace that of all countries in the Southern African region, the World Bank said in its 2010 Global Economic Prospects report.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, currently in the United States for consultations with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, projected a 7 percent growth this year in his 2010 budget.

The World Bank projected that the South African economy would expand just 2 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2011. Neighboring Botswana will register a 4.8 percent growth picking up to 5.6 percent in 2010, the bank said.

But economic analyst Rejoice Ngwenya of the Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the projections are too optimistic as Zimbabwe lacks many essential ingredients for growth.

Elsewhere, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara departed Monday for Davos, Switzerland, to participate in the World Economic Forum opening on Wednesday.

Political sources said the prime minister and his deputy would engage leaders of the world’s largest economies on the sidelines of the forum aiming to drum up aid and investment to rebuild Zimbabwe's economy. President Robert Mugabe did not accompany them because he was not invited, sources said.

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