By Bruce Chahwanda
MINISTER of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube says 2021 will be a better year for Zimbabwe pinned on the projected positive performance of the agricultural sector.
Prof Mthuli Ncube was speaking to CNBC Africa Chief Editor Godfrey Mtizwa on a special economic programme.
He said the country has experienced negative growth owing to climate change-induced drought, COVID-19 pandemic though a positive growth rate of 7.4 percent will be registered next year.
“We expect a better 2021, we had a negative growth due to the pandemic and climate change-induced drought but next year we have projected a 7.4% growth. We are going to achieve this by taming inflation and stabilising the exchange rate. The growth projection is pinned on a better agricultural season which will mean better power supply for local industries,” he said.
On the current account surplus, Professor Ncube said the year will end on a USD1.2 billion surplus which improved from last year’s USD900 million owing to the introduction of the local currency, import substitution as well as export competitiveness.
“We expect Foreign Direct Investment to continue trickling in the natural resources sector, we have generous incentives. We have launched the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange with the whole point being to attract investors in the mining sector. What is critical is stability, we continue improving the environment of doing business,” he said.
Zimbabwe has arrears with international financial institutions which currently stands at USD6 billion while the foreign debt is at USD9 billion though the domestic debt is at less than 3% of GDP.
“We expect an economic recovery in 2021, a figure is high because we are coming from a low base, negative growth rate….we are expecting a better 2021. The fiscal position looks very strong, we have key infrastructure projects such as road construction, dam construction, power investment and Zimbabwe is a very peaceful and stable country compared other African countries hence the ability to attract foreign direct investment.
“National Development Startegy1 covers the next five years, inclusive growth, devolution agenda, stable environment, infrastructure ICT, creating USD 12 billion mining sector, resuscitation of ZISCO Steel and clearance of arrears,” he said.