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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Government readies for AfCFTA

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

GOVERNMENT says it is putting all necessary measures to be part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), with the gazetting of a duty-free policy on a reciprocal basis with AfCFTA member states imminent.

Zimbabwe officially joined the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in 2020 which aims at creating a single continental market for goods and services.

To ensure the country benefits, various efforts have been initiated by the government including retooling of the manufacturing sector.

While officially opening the Annual Tax Conference in Victoria Falls this Friday, the government outlined efforts being made for the country to be competitive within the AfCFTA

“Accordingly, the government will soon publish the list of goods that will be traded free of duty on a reciprocal basis with AfCFTA Member States. Duty on other (sensitive) goods will, however, be liberalised over a longer period up to 2030. May I emphasise, Ladies and Gentlemen, that sensitive goods will not remain protected forever, hence, the need for the productive sector to adopt adjustment mechanisms for a duty-free trading environment,” said the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Clemence Chiduwa.

In light of this, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has moved in to broaden its revenue collection base to cushion the country from the anticipated duty-free regime.

Commissioner: Domestic Taxes, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Mr Misheck Govha said, “We have come up with what is called block management where an area is demarcated and given to a specific officer to supervise it in terms of compliance. The management style has since been implemented in areas such as Harare and Bulawayo and other towns and cities. Our hope is to spread this to even rural areas.”

Tax Matrix Tax School Chief Executive Officer, Mr Marvellous Tapera outlined the objectives of the conference.

“The aim is tax planning, compliance and tax policy formulation. Discussion points included expansion of the tax base through harnessing SMEs, fiscal developments and hitches as well as base erosion issues,” he said.

The taxation of SMEs, as well as the informal sector and the development of a comprehensive taxation framework, will ensure that every natural and juridical person is given an opportunity to contribute to the fiscus.

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