'Zimbabwe vulnerable to SA economic shocks'

Published: 20 June 2019
BUSINESS lobbyists ZimTrade have warned South African dominance of Zimbabwe's international trade deals makes it vulnerable to any shocks its economy might experience.

ZimTrade senior official Tatenda Marume told a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) award ceremony recently that the country needed to diversify its export market as South Africa's 52 percent share was highly unsustainable.

He said while Zimbabwe's southern neighbour was the major trade partner back in 1992, the situation was better as it only had claim of 26 percent with UK at 12 percent with far flung countries like Argentina at nine percent.

"The situation in which most of our products is going into just one market with South Africa dominating at 52 percent is unsustainable because we will be heavily affected if anything happens to their economy," Marume said.

He said there was also urgent need for the country to diversify its exports with base metals and raw produce currently dominating exports.

"In 1992, 35 percent of our exports were tobacco followed by base metals, chemicals and then textiles and most of them were value-added," Marume said, adding the situation was now completely different with most exports now fewer and in their raw form.

In 2018, gold and flue cured tobacco dominated the exports at 50 percent with the rest being minerals and cotton.
"We're no longer adding value to our exports but shipping them out in their raw form. We are exporting jobs because we are not adding any value to them," he said.

ZNCC president Tamuka Macheka said his organisation has been partnering with ZimTrade in researching markets and exploring the country's potential to diversify its exports and it holds great potential.

"We need to gather ourselves and begin to invest in different sectors … ZimTrade has information on this that can be easily exported by people from different regions of the country and the markets are known.

"We can actually export. We have the resources…If you are interested then you need to bother the local ZNCC office for this information and our services," Macheka said.

He said there are many farmers in Manicaland who are willing to be capacitated for export which will offer them rich pickings.
Macheka said getting international investors into the country was not moving at a fast pace and there was need for locals to take the lead in investing in key sectors taking advantage of the available resources.
- dailynews
Tags: SA,


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