By Alois Vinga
TRADE under-invoicing has cost Zimbabwe US$1 billion in the last 10 years, signifying an urgent need to put in place watertight systems to contain the revenue leakages, a US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) 2021 report has established.
The leakages are through customs and tax fraud involving exporters and importers deliberately misreporting the value, quantity, or nature of goods or services in a commercial transaction.
The GFI analysed trade statistics published by the United Nations and other global organisations like the International Monetary Fund that document information on imports and exports over the past 10 years.
“The sum of the value gaps for Zimbabwe which were identified in trade between 134 developing countries and all of their global trading partners, 2009-2018 amounted to US$913 million,” the GFI said.
Zimbabwe lost US$111 million as a sum of the value gaps identified in trade between 134 developing countries and 36 advanced economies, 2009-2018.
“With an average of 25,9%, Zimbabwe was classified as among top 10 global economies with largest value gaps identified within trade between 134 developing countries and 36 advanced economies as a percentage of total trade in 2018, and as averages, over 2009-2018,” the report added.
The GFI established that countries in the Sub-Saharan region lost a total of US$25,2 billion during the period US$1,6 trillion being the sum of the value gaps identified in trade between 134 developing countries and all of their global trading partners in 2018, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available.