Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe is well positioned to benefit from export opportunities presented by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), an official said on Thursday.
The AfCFTA, the world’s largest free trade pact, created a single market of over 1.2 billion people for the 55 African countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of over US$3.4 trillion.
Apart from creating a single continental market for goods and services, AfCFTA also hopes for the free movement of people and investments, thus paving way for accelerating the establishment of the African Customs Union.
Speaking to journalists after paying a courtesy visit to President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House, AFCTA secretary general Wamkele Mene said Zimbabwe should utilise its advantages to export products under the continental free trade area.
“We came to brief him on the work of the AFCTA and what we have been doing in establishing a secretariat.
“But more importantly we discussed how Zimbabwe can benefit from export opportunities under the AFCTA market which as you know is now 1. 3 billion people. So I believe Zimbabwe is well positioned to benefit from this market and to increase competitiveness outside of the SADC region,” he said.
Mene said the AFCTA would soon engage Eritrea, to persuade the authorities to sign the free trade agreement.
“We now have 40 countries that have ratified the agreement and only one country that has not yet signed the agreement – Eritrea.
“So we are engaging Eritrea to see the possibility of them signing the agreement as soon as possible,” he said.
The AfCTA is expected to be a key engine of economic growth, industrialisation and sustainable development in Africa.