Zimbabwe export earnings edge up

Zimbabwe export earnings edge up
Published: 20 July 2017
Zimbabwe has registered a slight growth in export earnings after earning $2,58 billion up from $2,57 billion as of June 16 this year, compared to the same period last year.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told delegates at the official opening of Grant Thornton's new headquarters on Tuesday that the country posted a 0,6% growth in exports income.

"The country's economic conditions are improving, as shown by the fact that our exports are on the increase," he said.

"From $2,57 billion last year to 2,58 billion as at 16 June this year, which is a 0,6% growth."

Last week, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) revealed that at the end of June, the country had earned $2,8 billion in foreign currency receipts, which consists of earnings from exports, diaspora remittances, income receipts and foreign direct investment.

Zimbabwe's major exports are tobacco, gold, platinum and ferrochrome.

Chinamasa said the country's nostro balances as of June 16 were pegged at $155 million up from $115,7 million in the same period last year.

"Also, the nostro balances, as of June 16, are at $155 million compared to $115,7 million during the same period last year and of course I know [RBZ governor, John] Mangudya is battling now on how he can fill the gap after the end of the tobacco selling season, how he can manage foreign currency during the coming six months."

Chinamasa said the country experienced a positive foreign currency net position of $225,9 million, compared to $74,9 million during the corresponding period last year.

The Treasury boss said the country was on course in engaging multilateral institutions, adding that after clearing International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrears, they were now targeting paying the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

"We are seeking to engage these creditors to get Zimbabwe back into the global economy," Chinamasa said.

"We are happy with the progress we have made. We have managed to clear our arrears with IMF.

"As I speak to you, the World Bank and AfDB are quite ready to receive our payment. The ball is entirely in our court and its work in progress.

"Our challenge, of course is that we want to do it in a sustainable manner.

"We don't want to pay and clear arrears today and tomorrow we find that we are in default.

"We need to create the conditions necessary for debt sustainability and that basically is the exercise that we are undertaking.

"We need to access new finance from the multilateral institutions, they will come with soft windows, which are very good for our development, so it's very important that we remain seized with the engagement that currently is in place with the multilateral institutions."

He said the country's economy was experiencing a major structural swing towards the informal sector, adding that at least 2 million formal jobs have vanished.

The Finance minister said he has contracted Finmark Trust to carry out a survey of the informal sector, which could help in effective policy formulation.

"The rise of informal and SME [small to medium enterprises] sector employment at the back of declining formal sector employment is because of the collapse of large corporates of yesteryear," he said.

"As we go forward, we are going to see the emergence of new firms," he said.

"So we cannot ignore the reality that is staring us in the face.

"These people in the informal [sector] are skilled and obviously they are enjoying that there are no rules, no labour laws, you can hire and fire at will.

"So we need to have systems and policies that identify champions within this sector and support them to grow to future big corporations.

"We need to give them access to capital, skills, development, and location infrastructure."
- newsday
Tags: Exports,

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