Zimbabwe, Comesa exports decline

HARARE - Zimbabwe's exports to the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) last year declined to $83 million from $86 million in 2016.

Zimbabwe’s top exports are sugar, which constitutes 15 percent of the exports, fish at eight percent and tobacco four percent.

In 2017, 69 percent of Zimbabwe’s exports to the Comesa region were mostly destined for Zambia, Kenya at 21 percent and Malawi at six percent.

“Other countries in Comesa accounted for four percent of the remaining exports. There are distinct opportunities here and I would like to urge the private sector to target the Comesa region and take up more market share. Government is there to negotiate market access on behalf of the private sector and therefore let me call on the private sector to play their part by utilising the market access fully,” Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development minister Mike Bimha said while addressing the Comesa 20th Heads of State and Government Summit in Lusaka recently.

Zimbabwe’s imports from Comesa declined between 2016 and 2017 by 15 percent from $364 million in 2016 to $309 million in 2017. Imports were mainly from Zambia, Mauritius, Malawi and Swaziland. The other Comesa countries accounted for 15 percent of imports.

“In 2017, Zimbabwe’s top imports from the Comesa region were soyabeans mixtures of odoriferous substances (of a kind used as raw materials in manufacturing), urea, ammonia and waters each accounting for approximately five percent respectively. As our agriculture value-chain sectors such as the cooking oil industry grow, I implore the private sector once again to take programmes such as command agriculture seriously and grow soyabeans,” Bimha said.

Zimbabwe is struggling to correct trade imbalances following the collapse of local industry. In a bid to encourage companies to export, the government in 2016 introduced an export incentive bonus scheme.

Zimbabwe has been battling for solutions to address its trade deficit, which hit $1,3 billion between February and June 2018.

Statistics from Zimtrade show that during the same period last year the trade deficit was slightly below $1 billion.

The country imported goods and services worth $2,8 billion against exports of $1,6 billion.

South Africa continues to be Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner, with the latter importing over 60 percent of its goods from South Africa.

Zimbabwe in this period imported goods worth $1,22 billion against $764 million exports.

— The Financial Gazette



Comments (1)

'Our Zimbabwe' will do well....$2Bn+ to that region alone and another $9Bn to the RoA and beyond. Tinoda vanhu vachaseenza pa indaneti 15000 in 2019/20 chero kwauri RSA , BOTS , CONGO ,Kana kedu Kwampondabveni , chero unechitupa kana pasipoti...us$2000pm avge muhoro , basa unodzidziswa.

Zim'bwe yedu isinakuurayana , Overhere. - 2 August 2018

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