ED to launch Industrial Development and export strategy

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By Alois Vinga

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says government will soon launch two policy documents aimed at boosting exports.

Addressing delegates at the ZIMTRADE Exporter’s Conference Thursday morning, Mnangagwa expressed confidence the two blueprints will promote trade in a country that has seen its imports outstrip exports over the years.

“The new Industrial Development Policy, National trade and National Export Strategy that will drive Zimbabwe’s export led industrialisation agenda, will soon be unveiled for implementation,” he said.

Mnangagwa said he was aware of the foreign currency challenges that industry is facing to import raw materials, machinery and equipment and other essential services adding that the Finance Ministry and the central bank would prioritise critical imports when it comes to foreign currency allocation.

The president appealed to industry to support the production of raw materials and industrial feedstock which can be sourced locally.

He made a call for robust innovation, new cutting age technological inventions and research and development range of exported manufactured and processed agricultural commodities adding that total exports should grow exponentially if we are to sustain the economic growth trajectory and reduce our trade deficit.

Also speaking at the occasion ZIMTRADE chief executive, Allan Majuru, implored government to urgently eradicate barriers to business.

“Regulations and procedures in clearance of goods at the country’s border posts need to be improved. They are a lot of delays and some investors in the citrus sector say that it is costing them an additional 8 000 rands thereby affecting the ease of doing business,” he said.

Dev Chamroo, Consultant from the Mauritius Construction Industry Development Council noted that Zimbabwe needs to implement Foreign Direct Investment inflows are going down, 60 percent of the products being in Agriculture and Mining and hinted on the need to add value to its raw materials and widen the export range.

At its peak, the country used to export to around 7 000 products to over 133 countries but to date the country exports to only 90 countries.