Story by Owen Mandovha
INDUSTRIALISTS agree that the reorientation of government foreign policy on trade promotion and the successful retooling of local industry are contributing to the growth in exports which rose by 9.1% in 2022 compared to the previous year.
The growth in exports, as revealed in the latest ZIMSTAT statistical highlights for the month of January, attests to the success of various interventions by government led by ZimTrade to promote local products on the international markets, and this is bearing fruit.
President of the National Business Council of Zimbabwe, Mr Langton Mabhanga says the reorientation of foreign missions to sharpen their economic diplomacy is also paying dividend where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is promoting local products in foreign markets.
“One of the key mandates of the foreign missions is to drive exports into the countries they serve as part of the economic diplomacy thrust. Obviously part of the reason why exports have grown is due to the work being done by ambassadors to promote our local products in foreign markets,” he said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) President Mr Kurai Matsheza noted that the leap in exports is attributable to a combination of the successful retooling of local industry and government’s initiatives to boost various sectors of the economy.
“Companies have for the past four or five years been investing retooling and the RBZ allocations of foreign currency have to a larger extent gone towards capital equipment imports. So the capacitation of the local industry is also translating into a surge in local production and consequently the growth in exports.”
The 9.1% growth in exports during 2022 was just a few percentage points shy away from the 10 percent annual exports growth rate enshrined in the National Development Strategy One, but is a huge feat considering various disruptions inflicted on the local and global economy.
However, it looks like the fight against one of the twin evils of trade deficit is being won due to the success of various government economic policies to boost trade.