Zim imports rise 4pc

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s imports rose by 4 percent from  $2,07 billion recorded during the first five months of 2016 to US$2,14 billion during the same period in 2017.

The main imports are motor vehicles and machinery, fuel and foodstuffs, with South Africa and China as the main import partners.

Imports have continued to rise despite foreign payments gridlocks and various government protectionism. Government last year imposed restrictions on imports of a list of basic goods, mainly from South Africa, to protect local industries and stem an outflow of scarce dollars from the drought-hit economy.

Financial research firm Equity Axis said this highlights the economy’s overreliance on imports and a dearth in activity, especially in those industries that provide value addition.

“The import bill is still unsustainably high and authorities should look at implementing policies that promote import substitution to preserve foreign currency,” Equity Axis said.

“Reduced food importation pressures as a result of improved harvests especially in the maize subsector, may result in a fall in imports.”

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