HARARE, Zimbabwe's Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in partnership with trade promotion body ZimTrade, will spearhead the formulation of the Zimbabwe National Export Strategy, which is expected to develop, facilitate and promote value addition of exports and spur economic growth of the country, says Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Chiratidzo Mabuwa.

According to the latest foreign trade report from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, exports declined by 28.66 per cent in April this year when compared with January this year.

Mabuwa told participants at the Ease of Doing Business, Rapid Results Initiative (RRI): End of Second 100 Days Review meeting here Wednesday that the strategy was going to tackle a number of issues that are affecting export growth.

The RRI was Launched in December last year and the first 100 Days ended on March 6 this year while the second 100 Days were launched on the same date.

The stand-alone National Export Strategy is expected to leverage the industrial and trade development policy frameworks that are currently under formulation, Mabuwa said.

The National Export Strategy is also one of the instruments that will help to achieve the objectives of the national development plan, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), especially under the Value Addition and Beneficiation cluster.

Mabuwa encouraged stakeholders, particularly the private sector, to actively participate in the consultative process for the National Export Strategy which, when in full swing, is expected to drive the manufacturing sector and other quick-win sectors towards export orientation and international competitiveness.

The Zimbabwe government and the private sector have reached a consensus that export growth was the most effective way for the country to generate much needed foreign currency. Successful implementation of the RRI recommendations is projected to curb some of the trade-impeding regulations and procedures.

ZimTrade chief executive officer Sithembile Pilime said progress had been very slow on legislative reforms. Although there have been efforts to ensure that the Statutory Instruments are changed, these have remained efforts to date," she added.

While the will is there, there appears to be bottlenecks in the drafting and enactment of the requisite statutory reforms. she said.

However, some of the reforms had been implemented since the review meeting held in March this year, which include reduction of processing times for export permits by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and simplification of the process of raising CD1 forms by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.


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