Zimbabwe is seeking preferential market access into India as part of efforts to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said yesterday during a virtual meeting.
The meeting was hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), with support from the Embassy of Zimbabwe in New Delhi, the Embassy of India in Harare and the Ministry.
Total trade between Zimbabwe and India peaked to around US$240 million in 2015, but went down to US$140 million last year.
Trade has been in favour of India over the years, with Zimbabwe accruing trade deficits of over US$100 million each year.
Last year, Zimbabwe’s exports to India were US$123 000, while India’s exports to Zimbabwe totalled US$141 million.
Zimbabwe’s main exports to India include unprocessed diamonds, the largest export, through third parties, plus tobacco, tea, cotton, coking coal, precious metals, jewellery, furniture, plastic and rubber products.
Dr Moyo said Zimbabwe was seeking increased market access in India.
“We are determined to ensure that the trade imbalance between our two countries is improved with Zimbabwe being able to produce and export a diversity of commodities to the Indian market.
“We are seeking to negotiate preferential market access for Zimbabwean goods into India under the Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme which is offered by the Indian Government to many African countries,” he said.
Dr Moyo welcomed investments made into the country by Indian companies, with over 25 having set up shop here.
“The need to intensify trade, investment and economic relations between our two countries still remains,” he said.
“I wish to reiterate what I said at the recent conclave that Zimbabwe aspires to become India’s leading economic, technological and industrial development partner in Southern Africa.