Zimbabwe in bid to regain regional markets

BY ZBC Reporter
THE government has endorsed a regional export drive by the private sector targeted at regaining profitable markets. Research conducted last year by Zimtrade showed Zimbabwe stands to benefit from increased exports by venturing into Malawi, Namibia and Angola markets.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr David Musabayana says government will continue to assist with export market opportunities.
“We are geared to do our best by growing exports,” said Dr Musabayana.
Zimtrade Chief Executive Officer, Allan Majuru weighed in saying industry should diversify exports.
“It is all to do with strategies that seek to boost production lines,” he said.
Industrialist Ishmael Mboma noted that the private sector should also work with government. Zimbabwe has declared 2020 a year of production and trade. According to statistics from ZimStats, trade performance in the period February-October 2019 shows that the trade deficit decreased by 55 percent from US$1.31 billion recorded during the same period last year to the current US$587 million. Although trade deficit reduced, Zimbabwe’s total exports for the period February-October 2019 amounted to US$3.01 billion, indicating a 25 percent decrease from US$4.04 billion recorded during the same period in 2018.
On the other hand, the total import bill was US$3.6 billion, a 33 percent decrease from the US$5.35 billion recorded in the same period in 2018. Going forward, analysts say it is imperative that trade performance be skewed towards increasing exports of value-added products while at the same time decreasing imports, particularly value-added commodities that can be manufactured locally.
Despite the decline in exports last year, exports of manufactured products registered an 8.5 percent growth rate from February-October 2018 to the same period in 2019. Zimbabwe’s main exports are tobacco which accounts for 23 percent of total exports and nickel, 20 percent. Others include diamonds, platinum, ferrochrome, gold and horticultural products. Zimbabwe main export partners are South Africa, China, Congo and Botswana.