Zimbabwe pushes for US$14 bln export earnings by 2030 in National Export Strategy

Published: 17 October 2019
Government through the National Trade Policy and Export Strategy blueprint is targeting to grow Zimbabwe's export by 10% annually to US$6.4 billion in 2023 and ultimately to US$12.4 billion by 2030 from 2018's US$4 billion.
Speaking at the ZimTrade annual exporters conference, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Special Adviser Ambassador Stuart Comberbach said that the NTP and NES strategies envision a transformed, dynamic and internationally competitive Zimbabwean economy, driven by robust domestic and international trade.
Comberbach noted that Zimbabwe's trade potential had not been fully tapped to enable the country to meaningfully gain from trade. The country's export basket is dominated by primary commodities with minerals and tobacco contributing over 70% to the total export earnings. As a result the country has not been able to benefit from the full value derived from beneficiated products.
Zimbabwe's export performance has largely remained subdued over the years falling short of its potential to spur economic growth and development. This is mainly due to the lack of diversification on its export baskets and the cumbersome process involved in moving goods across borders as shown in the table below.

As such, Government in the policy document has set to increase the contribution of manufactured exports to total exports to 30% in 2023 from 15% currently. Total manufacturing exports in the six months to June were at US$126 million, which Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu noted was a positive indicator in light of the economic challenges facing the country.
Government is also seeking to increase the country's export of services by at least 15% annually to US$1.1 billion in 2023. "Ultimately total exports of both goods and services should be US$7.23 billion by 2023 and US$14.2 billion by 2030."
At the present moment, the products with the greatest export potential from Zimbabwe to the world are ferro-chromium, raw cane sugar and raw hides and skins of reptiles. But in order to diversify its export basket, there should be a push towards fish fillets (frozen), legumes (dried and shelled) and sesamum seeds and groundnuts (excluding roasted or cooked).

Comberbach said the markets with the greatest potential for Zimbabwe's exports of all products are China, Italy and South Africa. Currently, 52% of the products are exported through South Africa although historically this wasn't the case.

The efforts should results in an improvement in the balance of trade position by at least 10% annually and a gain on the World Bank's trading across Borders Distance to Frontier Index to 65 percentage points in 2023 from 54.34 in 2018.
In order to facilitate the successful implementation of the NTP and Export Strategy, Comberbach said that the Foreign Affairs Ministry will resuscitate the Trade and Economic Relations Committee as an inter-institutional consultative mechanism while to support them, a consultative mechanism will be established in the name of the Zimbabwe Export Promotion Council.
Further, the scope and mandate of ZimTrade will be expanded to coordinate the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the National Export Strategy.
Officially opening the conference under the theme, Re-think, Reform and Export, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that inadequate export earnings have undoubtedly affected other sectors of the economy. "There is therefore urgent need for the country to synergise efforts and to collectively take appropriate steps to boost our exports." He called on local producers to aim to have a minimum component of their total output going towards exports through a ratio of 80% for local markets and 20% for exports.
In line with Government's devolution mantra, Mnangagwa said provinces must develop Export Development Strategies and Plans aligned with the National Export Strategy Policy and the National Trade Policy.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo said that the foreign policy thrust under the new dispensation continues to largely focus on economic diplomacy. "To facilitate this, we have since assigned and re-assigned ambassadors while trade promotion officers will also be deployed to some of the strategic embassies where we believe there is great trade potential."
- finx
Tags: Export,


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