By Stanley James
LATEST data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) shows that agro-based and mineral commodities continue to top the country’s exports on the back of improved local production.
Leading the pack of Zimbabwe’s export commodities is tobacco followed by semi-manufactured gold, nickel ores and concentrates, platinum, ferrochrome and cotton.
The main imports include fuel, industrial machinery, fertilisers, vehicles, as well as animal and vegetable oils.
However, it is the further growth in exports that has seen Zimbabwe also saving foreign currency.
“Basically industry should look beyond at what they are currently manufacturing and assess the level of progress to ensure the sustainability of the industrial base, taking into account the need to harness the economy more incentives are being needed on the export front,” said Kurai Matsheza Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President.
“The exports while being encouraging they are mainly skewed towards a single agro-based commodity which is tobacco, this, therefore, calls for a more proactive approach to look beyond that and find out what can be done to diversify the level of exports from the farming output,” Johnson Muzarurwi Agronomist.
“Given the rise in exports then it means the nation is on track to achieve set economic blueprints let us not forget where we are coming and what we need to do as a country in consolidating the current gains that are coming when there are significant or positive milestones,” said Lazarus Nyagumbo Trade Economist.
Zimstat states that South Africa is still Zimbabwe’s major trading partner, while other trading nations include China, United Arab Emirates, Mozambique, Belgium, Zambia, Mauritius, United Kingdom, United States of America, Japan, and India among others.