Key information about Zambia

Fact sheets

A country fully integrated into the world’s community

Worldwide organisations

Regional organisations






Zambia: a country abundantly endowed

Due to its extremely diverse geological terrains, Zambia produces many commodities.  While copper and cobalt are the main commodities, the local mining industry also produces sulphur, steam coal, manganese, lead, zinc, gold and silver.

Zambia:  the world’s seventh greatest producer of copper

2016 figures. Unit: thousand metric tons

General economic information

Zambia is the fifth largest economy of the 15-members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Zambia having one of the world’s fastest-growing populations (the population growth rate usually exceeds 3%), long-term economic growth forecasts are positive.

IMF calculations predict an annual increase of the GDP by 4.5% until 2022 (source: 2017 Article IV Consultation).

Main macro-economic indicators

Structure of the Zambian’s economy

The top three industries in Zambia -wholesale and retail trade, construction, mining and quarrying- account for 45% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Even though the contribution of the agricultural sector is relatively low (9% of the GDP), it employs 70% of Zambia’s labour force.

Gross Domestic Product by Industry, Constant 2010 Prices (ZMW Million)-2017

Database source: Central Statistical Office.

Structure of exports

  • Exports play an important role in Zambia’s economy: exportations account for 35% of the GDP.
  • Given abundant natural resources, exports of metal -i.e. traditional exports- account for a large part of total exports (over 75%).
  • Other exports –i.e. non traditional exports- include tobacco, flowers, food (maize, tobacco,  maize seed etc), live animals and cotton.


EXPOrt earnings are increasinG

Database source: Central Statistical Office.  ZMW Million

Foreign direct investments

Although historically predominantly directed to the mining sector, foreign investors tend to invest more and more in “non-traditional” sectors since 2011. More than 50% of foreign investments were directed to the manufacturing sector in 2016.

Database source: Bank of Zambia, USD millions


FDI net inflows by sector (2016)

Database source: Bank of Zambia, 2016 figures.