Zimbabwe has ratified the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Britain that allows Zimbabwean exporters access to UK markets free of tariffs and quotas and is expected to boost trade and investment between the two countries as Government’s re-engagement drive continues to bear fruit.
The ratification of the EPA follows the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, meaning it can no longer trade under the Eastern and Southern Africa-EU EPA.
Last year, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique signed the same EPA UK trade deal.
Writing on his Twitter handle, @MinisterSBMoyo, Foreign Affairs and International Development Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the ratification of the deal was a big step in the country’s re-engagement efforts.
“This is a huge step for Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts. The signing of this partnership will undoubtedly bring increased trade and investment to Zimbabwe,” said Minister Moyo.
UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Melanie Robinson welcomed Zimbabwe’s decision to ratify the EPA.
“Glad Zimbabwe has ratified the Economic Partnership Agreement with the UK. This ensures that exporters continue to enjoy tariff and quota free access to the UK market.
“The UK supports Zimbabwean businesses and jobs for economic development,” she wrote on her twitter handle.
Britain voted to leave the EU following a referendum held in June 2016 and has since been negotiating separate trade deals.
EPAs are development-focused trade agreements that aim to promote increased trade and investment.
They contribute to sustainable growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.
Government’s re-engagement efforts have been premised on economic diplomacy and has been on a drive to boost ties with various countries across the world.
Some of the deals that have born fruit include the thrashing of an agreement with US company John Deere for the supply of tractors and other agricultural equipment.
In a similar deal, the country has also taken delivery of tractors and other farming implements from Belarus, while top US firm General Electric, together with Power Construction of China, have been selected to build a US$4 billion hydropower project straddling the Zimbabwean and Zambia borders.
The 2 400MW Batoka Gorge power plant has been on the cards for many years but it has paced up in the last two years since the coming of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.