The Sunday News

Peter Matika, Senior Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S inability to overcome the hurdle of inadequate export earnings has largely affected other sectors of the economy, along with the availability of essential commodities and services, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

President Mnangagwa who was officiating the ZimTrade annual Exporters conference, which was held in Bulawayo on Thursday, said this year’s theme – Re-think, Reform and Export was well timed, as it reinforced the need for stakeholders in business to introspect and strategise on the need to generate foreign currency.

“Our inability to overcome the hurdle of inadequate export earnings, undoubtedly affects other sectors of our economy, along with the availability of essential commodities and services. Thus there is need for both the public and private sectors to synergise our efforts and collectively take appropriate steps to boost our country’s exports, which are the most sustainable way to stabilize and grow our economy,” he said.

President Mnangagwa reiterated that Zimbabwe was open for business, hence the need to unify in creating an enabling environment for strategic trade investments.

“The effects of the ongoing climate change coupled with the continued illegal sanctions hamper market access, access to credit finance and processing of international payments. Our current position therefore calls for robust, innovative, collaborative strategies and efforts to build productive capacity and generate value exports,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said in view of the forthcoming summer agricultural season, it was imperative for farmers to make bold decisions to produce towards national food security, nutrition and export.

“I urge local producers at every level to aim to have a minimum component of their total output going towards exports. For example, through the ratio of 80 percent for local markets and 20 percent for export markets,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said in line with devolution and this year’s ZimTrade theme, the country’s provinces were mandated with identifying and taking responsibility for economic activities in their regions.

“We must ensure that everyone participates in growing our exports and the economy at large. Provinces are encouraged to develop Export Development Strategies and plans aligned with the National Export Strategy policy and the Zimbabwe National Trade policy based on their respective resource endowments,” said President Mnangagwa.

He also urged exporters to leverage on the country’s engagement and re-engagement policy to explore to explore and re-ignite markets globally.