The export capacity thematic group has recommended the streamlining of processes and issuance of permits valid for a year, among a number of reforms to arrest the regression in total manufactured exports.
Source: Zim export capacity regressing – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 8, 2017
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Total manufactured exports have been declining over the past three years to $424 million in 2016 from $523 million in 2015.
In 2014, total manufactured exports reached $1 billion.
Speaking at the Ease of Doing Export Business — Rapid Results Initiative final review meeting, export capacity thematic group chairperson Salie Khan said the regression of total manufactured exports was one of the challenges that needed to be addressed for the realisation to reduce the time and cost of exporting by 50%.
“We are actually regressing, so let’s look at the causes which are causing the regression and start addressing them,” Khan said.
He, however, said the export capacity does not hinge on policy alone, but efficiency within companies.
Khan said among other recommended reforms were changes in attitude and streamlining processes, tenure of permits (permits should be issued for up to a year), decentralisation of issuance of permits and one-stop-shop for permits issuance, where all government departments can be housed.
According to official statistics, South Africa has continued to be Zimbabwe’s top export market for the month of December, although exports declined from $390 million to $238 million, while imports stood at $208 million.
In December, the trade deficit widened to $197 million from $14,6 million in November 2016. Exports for the month of December declined from November’s record of $460,7 million to $292 million.
Zimbabwe’s main exports are tobacco accounting for 23% of total exports and nickel 20%. Others include diamonds, platinum, ferrochrome, and gold. Zimbabwe main export destinations are South Africa, China, Congo and Botswana.