By Kenias Chivuzhe
THE Second Republic is targeting to increase exports in the manufacturing sector from 15 percent in 2018 to 30 percent by next year, to improve the country’s foreign currency receipts.
The targets come as Zimbabwe continues to institute various measures to increase export receipts which are contributing 60 percent to the country’s total foreign currency earnings.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Fredrick Shava, who officiated at the Exporters Breakfast Meeting in Mutare, which coincided with the Official Opening Ceremony of the ZimTrade Eastern Region Office this Friday, emphasised the need to further promote value addition of export commodities.
“Exports might be increasing but the key question is on the contribution of value-added products and horticulture to total exports. The targets in the National Export Strategy 2019-2023 are to increase the contribution of manufactured exports to total exports from 15% in 2018 to 30% in 2023 and therefore, my ministry will be working closely with Industry and ZimTrade to make sure that this target is met,” he said.
Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Nokuthula Matsikenyere noted that decentralisation of ZimTrade operations will spur export receipts in the province.
“The development of export clusters should become areas of focus as government operations have been decentralised. I challenge the provincial leadership to emulate international examples such as that of Japan where all villages try to export under one village, one product models,” said Matsikenyere.
Deliberations at the breakfast meeting focused on export development programmes lined up for this year, foreign currency retention levels and strategies to increase exports.
“We have a number of export development programmes and we encourage you to take advantage of them. There is however a need to export as teams in order to meet the huge demand in other markets,” noted a representative from ZimTrade.
“2021 was an amazing year with foreign currency inflows increasing by 53%. However, we need to balance the need to maintain a viable Dutch Auction System and the demands of the industry. The system requires foreign currency and it is good for industry as well. It was agreed that the retention ratio remains at 40 :60 but if production increases, we will use 20:80 ratio on the exports that would have increased,” added RBZ Deputy Governor, Dr Khupukile Mlambo
It emerged that the estimated export potential for Manicaland is US$337 million,buoyed by exports of macadamia nuts, avocado, tea, coffee and timber among other products.
Meanwhile, Minister Shava revealed that Trade Promotion Officers have so far been deployed to Brazil, China, UAE, India and Turkey as government focuses on economic diplomacy to improve trade and market intelligence.