IMMEDIATE past South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han Koo has welcomed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme for Zambia and urge creditors to support the country’s ongoing debt festructuring programme.
And Mr Yeo has urged the country’s multilateral creditors to ensure that the debt restructuring programme results in a win-win situation for all parties.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in Lusaka, Mr Yeo urged Zambians to embrace a positive mindset about the programme.
“In 1997, at the height of the Asian financial crisis, Korea went through an IMF programme and while some implementation conditions may be harsh, the outcome is often positive for the benefitting country. For Korea, it took all citizens to hold hands and work together in supporting measures aimed at rebuilding the economy and look at where we are today.” Mr Yeo said.
He said while the IMF programme demanded a “painful” economic restructuring process, Korea emerged to currently become the world’s fifth largest economy and seventh in the global technology industry.
“Korea used the IMF programune as an economic opportunity and what creditors must also look at is creating a sustainable economic growth path for Zambia.” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Yeo said he was in Zambia as Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin’s Special envoy to lobby the country for support towards the hosting of the 2030 World Expo in the Korean city of Busan.
He said he met Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo and discussed the furthering of the more than 30-years existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
“Zambia’s participation in the expo is important because it coincides with the country’s Vision-2030 and is an opportunity to share lessons about development with Korea,” Mr Yeo said.
He said the expo was important in connecting African countries such as Zambia to Korea Mr Yeo said Zambia and Korea had a lot of coon benefits to point at in their cooperation one being the successfully construction of the Kazungula Bridge by Korean company Daewoo.
He said the two countries also had an opportunity for collaboration in the emerging electric motor vehicle industry.