‘Take advantage of trade agreements’

Source: ‘Take advantage of trade agreements’ | The Herald

Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter

Zimbabwean companies have been urged to take advantage of regional and
continental trade agreements to market their products and pursue
investment opportunities.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Frederick Shava said
this after Friday’s meeting of the Sadc Committee of Ministers of Trade
and the Ministerial Taskforce on Regional and Economic Integration held
virtually.

Zimbabwe has ratified the Common Market for East and Southern Africa-East
African Community and Sadc Tripartite Agreement (TFTA).

The country has also signed and ratified the agreement establishing the
Free Trade Area and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

“This is in line with the African Union(’s) Agenda 2063 programme which
also includes the programme for Accelerated Industrial Development,
Programme for Infrastructure Development and Boosting Inter-Africa Trade,”
he said.

“These agreements create opportunities for Zimbabwean companies in terms
of market for products and investment opportunities.

“There are opportunities for value chains to service regional, continental
and global market. It is also an opportunity to attract Foreign Direct
Investment.”

Minister Shava added that Zimbabwe was implementing tariff liberalisation
to open up the economy and trade with other SADC member States, but had
applied for relaxation to be exempted from implementing tariff reductions
on a number of products due to challenges being faced by local industries.

The meeting also discussed a framework for implementation of the
Simplified Trading Regime, which facilitates cross-border traders between
SADC member States for an approved list of products. The programme will be
implemented voluntarily on a bilateral basis between two agreeing member
States.

The meeting also noted the impact of Covid-19 on regional trade and
ongoing responses by member States.

Minister Shava urged other countries to ratify the Sadc Industrialisation
Strategy and Roadmap, which envisages the creation of regional value
chains.

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