By Davison Vandira
ZIMBABWE’s productive sector emerged the biggest beneficiary in 2021 after accounting for more than US$6.7 billion of foreign currency payments allotted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), driven by the spirit of transparency and accountability on the use of public resources, released a comprehensive schedule of foreign currency payments done in 2021 totaling 6.7 billion United States dollars, detailing the source and purpose of such transactions.
Foreign Currency Account balances were the largest source of these forex payments as it provided greenback amounting to 4.4 billion United States dollars.
The central bank’s Auction System was the second source of forex where a total of 7325 companies were allocated a total of more than 1.9 billion United States dollars, with 2037 entities being from the Main Auction while a massive 5288 firms were drawn from the SME’s sector.
The Interbank Market is a distant third in the perking order, providing slightly above 300 million United States dollars.
The RBZ statistics were in total conformity with the improved industry productivity matrix as 62 percent of the total auction payments went towards raw materials, equipment, plant and machinery which accounted for an aggregated figure of 1.3 billion United States Dollars since January this year.
The average monthly allocation of foreign currency requirements to the productive sector from January to December was 560 million United States dollars.
A cursory analysis of the RBZ forex payment statistics suggest the country is now manufacturing its own consumptive products, a key boost to the local content policy as the top 50 beneficiaries are largely food processing companies, while agriculture-related entities are also dominating the released schedule.
As the 2021 doors are shutting down, such economic statistics give policy makers and analysts optimism that the genesis of 2022 will bear better economic fruits as Zimbabwe marches towards vision 2030.