Economy on track – President Mnangagwa
Harare, (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe’s economy performed better than expected in the first half of 2020, a period during which the global economy was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, amid expectations the bullish traction will continue for the remainder of the year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Thursday.
Delivering a State of the Nation address while opening the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said there were “causes for optimism” going forward given the direction the economy was taking.
“Our economy has faced a number of internal shocks in an environment of changing climatic conditions, sanctions and lately, the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Head of State said.
“Our Transitional Stabilisation Programme has delivered and there are causes for optimism. Government is encouraged by current economic stability, evident since the launch of the foreign currency system in June.”
President Mnangagwa said the country’s exports grew by 4.9 percent to US$1.96 billion while imports were down to US$1.84 billion in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year in 2019.
“We expect the trend of the positive trade balance to be sustained through increased productivity and exports across all sectors of the economy,” he said.
Foreign currency receipts were up 18 percent while diaspora remittances were also up, he said.
President Mnangagwa said a new economic blueprint, the Five-Year Development Strategy covering 2021 to 2025, will be launched soon to guide the country’s economic development in the medium term.
A cocktail of measures, he said, would be taken to improve the ease of doing business, boost performance of the agriculture and horticulture sectors as well as energy production, a key input for industry.
Parliament is expected to debate on a number of Bills which are expected to aid economic development when passed, he said.
President Mnangagwa called for unity of purpose not only among parliamentarians but Zimbabweans in general to drive economic growth.
“No matter the challenges and no matter the obstacles whether natural or man-made, let us always seek to promote our national interests in unity and in love, for the development and prosperity of our beloved country.”