via Zim performing moderately on trade – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 8, 2016
Zimbabwe has recorded strong performance in productive integration, but performed moderately in trade, free movement of persons, infrastructure and financial integration, a new report has shown.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
According to the Africa Regional Integration Index Report 2016, Zimbabwe was ranked first in Sadc and 15th in the Comesa bloc with scores of 0,74 and 0,36 respectively.
The index said Zimbabwe was 21st in Africa in the merchandise trade complementarity index of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which measures the extent to which a country’s trade is complementary with that of its partners. This, it said, suggested some level of specialisation through trade between Zimbabwe and other countries in the region may have taken place.
“Considering intra-regional trade in intermediate goods, the index shows that the proportion of intermediate goods in in trade by Zimbabwe with Sadc is also high. The country’s share of intermediates in total imports within the region averaged 61% in 2014 which ranked the country 13th among countries that are members of either Sadc or Comesa or both,” it said.
The index is a joint project of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa and covers free movement of persons, trade integration, productive integration, regional interconnections and infrastructure and macroeconomic policy convergence.
It is a measure of the extent to which each country in Africa is meeting its commitments under the various pan-African integration frameworks such as Agenda 2063 and the Abuja Treaty.
Zimbabwe was ranked eighth and ninth in Sadc and Comesa respectively on infrastructure integration. On the continent, the country was ranked 13th out of all African countries on infrastructure integration. It said the country’s internet bandwidth per capita of around 0,7 megabits per second per person was the 23rd highest in Africa.
“Internet bandwidth is important for international communication as it supports trade in services. Around 84% of international flights to and from Zimbabwe in June 2014 were intra- Sadc, which ranked the country eighth within the bloc, while 46% were intra-Comesa which ranked the country 15th among members of that regional economic community,” the index said.
Zimbabwe scored moderately on free movement of persons allowing nationals of 27 other African countries to enter visa-free or with a visa on arrival.
Zimbabwe performed moderately on trade integration with a high average applied tariff of 24% on imports from Sadc. It, however, has an average applied tariff of 0,1% on imports from Comesa.
On financial integration and macro-economic policy convergence, Zimbabwe was ranked fifth in Sadc with a score of 0,50. South Africa was the best performing country.