BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
President Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) yesterday urged companies and producers to export 20% of their produce to the foreign markets, but retain 80% for local markets.
Mnangagwa made the remarks while officially opening the ZimTrade’s 2019 Exporters’ Conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.
The conference saw the President launch the Zimbabwe national trade policy vision and export promotion strategy.
“I urge every local producer, at every level, to aim to have a minimum component of their total output going towards exports, for example, through the ratio of 80% for local markets and 20% for export markets,” Mnangagwa said.
“I urge all stakeholders to embrace the new Zimbabwe national trade policy vision and export strategy roadmap towards the exports target of US$7 billion by 2023 and US$14 billion by 2030 in order to facilitate the attainment of the national vision of an upper middle income economy by 2030.”
Mnangagwa said they had moved ZimTrade from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because as government they saw that, although there could be internal trade, it was critical to engage with the international community.
“In line with the theme rethink, reform and export, provinces must identify strategies for economic activities in their regions to ensure everyone participates in growing our exports and the economy at large,” Mnangagwa added.
The President indicated that the Zimbabwe national trade policy vision and export promotion strategy towards 2030 agenda sought to propel the country’s industrialisation towards a transformed and internationally competitive economy, driven by robust, free and fair domestic and international trade.
He said the vast natural and human resources that Zimbabwe is endowed with require policy strategies that will enable the country to build production capacity and generate the much-needed foreign exchange earnings through exports.
Mnangagwa said the country has largely relied on exporting primary commodities, with exports of value-added goods and services having remained subdued due to a number of factors.
“On Monday, I launched the mining development strategy roadmap, where value addition and beneficiations are key. My government expects all sectors of the economy to draw lessons from the mining sector and begin to develop, set targets and milestones to pursue with regards on increasing our exports,” Mnangagwa said.
“In this regard, provincial ministers are urged to tap into ZimTrade confidence, let us take export targets for our companies. By 2023 our exports should be $7 billion and in 2030 $14 billion. This can only be achieved when all of us realise that we have a role to play to achieve those standards, it’s not the business of one company, one province, but it is the business of all of us.”
“In line with our county laws, all companies must insist on the use of local currency for all local transactions,” he added.
The President, however, expressed disappointment that in Japan last month exhibitions did not show the best of Zimbabwe, but just showed a few pictures and books, but elsewhere, where ZimTrade was showcased in Egypt, Germany and Spain, he received rave country reports.
He further indicated that Zimbabwe’s trade potential had not been fully exploited to enable the country to meaningfully gain from trade.