Exports key to stabilising economy – Pres Mnangagwa

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Bulawayo, (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday called for stronger collaboration between public and private sectors to boost exports as a means to stabilise and grow the economy.

Officiating at the 2019 Zimtrade annual exporters’ conference, the
Head of State said “the hurdle of inadequate export earnings” was
affecting most sectors of the economy, as well as availability of
essential commodities and services.

The conference ran under the theme: “re-think, reform and export.”
Zimbabwe has over the years ran a trade deficit as imports continued
to outrun exports, but positive strides have been made in the
past few months in reducing the gap.

“There is an urgent need for both the public and private sectors to
synergize our efforts and collectively take the appropriate steps to
boost our country’s exports, which is the most sustainable way to
stabilise and grow our economy,” President Mnangagwa said.

Low export earnings have impacted the country’s ability to import
critical goods such as power and fuel which in turn have had a knock
on effect on the performance of productive sectors in the economy.

President Mnangagwa said sanctions imposed on the country by the West
also affected market access for Zimbabwean goods on the export market
as well as access to credit facilities and international payments.

“Our current position, therefore, calls for robust, innovative,
collaborative strategies and efforts to build productive capacity and
generate value added exports,” he said.

He said exporters must take advantage of the government’s engagement
and re-engagement drive and the recently established African
Continental Free Trade Area to explore new markets in countries such
as China, Russia, Europe and the United Kingdom.

The country’s trade promotion body, Zimtrade had also signed
agreements with a number of countries that local producers could
exploit to expand their markets.

Local producers, he said, must not only ensure a minimum of their
produce is exported, but also diversify the goods that are sold overseas
to overcome current reliance on primary goods exports which generate
low receipts.

“The culture of producing for exports needs to be inculcated amongst
all producers and in particular small to medium enterprises,” the
President said.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa also called on the country’s provinces
to come up with their own export development strategies in line with
the devolution agenda.

Industry and Commerce Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu said boosting the
country’s exports was a sure way of ensuring success of the government’s
on-going reforms.

“Having launched the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy
five months ago, it is imperative that focus shifts towards
implementation,” he said.
New Ziana

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