Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 4/2/2019
  • Zambia is a politically stable, multi-party democracy, rich in natural resources.

  • Estimated population of 17.2 million – 42 percent urban population.

  • Positive economic growth for 14 years, and a growing middle class.

  • Estimates indicate the economy grew by 4.1 percent in 2017, compared to 3.8 percent in 2016.  Among the key sectors, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, mining, and electricity generation improved from a 2015-2016 slump.  Construction slowed by comparison.

  • In the monetary sector, the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) continued its monetary easing resulting in more commercial bank liquidity.  Inflation remained within the BOZ’s medium target range of 6-8 percent ending 2017 at 6.1 percent. 

  • According to the World Bank, Zambia’s debt is estimated to be 60% of GDP.

  • The economy enjoys liberalized prices on most items, a stable foreign exchange rate, and no currency controls.

  • In 2017, Zambia’s main export partners was Switzerland which accounted for 44.2 percent of total exports (due more to the location of commodity traders, rather than actual exportation).  Others include: China (14 percent), Singapore, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  During the same period, Zambia’s main import partner was South Africa followed by DRC, China, Mauritius, and Kenya.

  • In 2017, Zambia’s total imports from the United States were $83.9 million, compared to $81.6 million in 2016.  These consisted primarily of machinery, rubber, and vehicles.

  • In 2017, about $66.1 million in Zambian exports went to the United States, compared to $46.6 million in 2016.  These consisted almost entirely of copper, cobalt, precious stones (primarily emeralds), and cotton.

  • Zambia is a member of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.