Bimha in SA to meet counterpart

Source: Bimha in SA to meet counterpart | The Herald August 5, 2016

Business Reporter

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha is in South Africa where he is meeting with his counterpart Rob Davies to discuss bilateral trade matters. This is a routine meeting between the countries and is a follow up to a technical meeting that was held by officials of the two countries a fortnight ago.On arrival, Minister Bimha — whose delegation includes officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, the Competition and Tariff Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce — said he would use the opportunity to clarify the Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which put controls on imports of certain goods.

“We have both had some very busy schedules of late, with lots of travel, and it has been difficult to synchronise our timetables,” he said.

“Now that we are able to meet, I should be able to also use the opportunity to explain some of our policies, including SI 64 of 2016.”

Zimbabwe recently gazetted Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 to restrict the importation of certain goods as a way of supporting its local industry. While this has courted some debate regarding its impact on the importation of goods into the country as well as raising questions regarding protocols governing regional trade, the minister is on record as having said Zimbabwe had already notified SADC about the measures and the reasons behind them.

“Even then, we think it is important to engage our trading partners on a one-on-one basis so that they also understand directly from us what we are doing to drive our industrialisation strategy, which is a strategic goal for SADC,” the minister said, adding that he would soon be engaging Zambian officials.

South Africa remains Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner, with the latter still importing more from its neighbour than it exports to it.