It asked for a financial programme with the IMF late last year. And in January it sought debt relief under the new G20-supported common framework designed to help the world's poorest countries overhaul the debt they owe to official and commercial creditors.
Zambia's dollar bonds extended gains following the statements with the 2027 bond up more than 1 cent to trade at just over 64 cents on the dollar - levels last seen in early March last year just before the Covid-19 pandemic roiled financial markets, Tradeweb data showed.
Zambia's external debt includes around $3 billion in outstanding Eurobonds and another $3 billion owed to China and Chinese entities. Tensions between those two groups of creditors have so far stymied restructuring efforts.
Private creditors told Reuters that the statements from Zambia and the IMF were positive, but they remained cautious.
"It does seem like talks will eventually get us the outcome we want to see but it will be difficult to see this getting completed before the elections (in August)," said Aberdeen Standard Investment's Kevin Daly.
Daly, a member of the Zambia External Bondholder Committee, added that a debt deal under the common framework remained unlikely before next year.
"On the face of it, there is a suggestion that substantive progress has been made, with the focus moving from the causes of the imbalances to the remedies," said a second creditor, who requested anonymity.