Zimbabwe is targeting to grow exports by 4 percent next year on the back of a projected 7, 4 percent 2021 economic growth by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube. The country’s exports have remained subdued over the years owing to a number of both macro and micro economic factors bedevilling the economy.
“The country targets to grow manufactured exports by 4.1% in 2021 from an estimate of 3.6% in 2020,” said Ncube last Thursday while presenting his ZWL$421, 6 billion 2021 budget.
“This will be achieved through focusing on diversifying exports into non-traditional markets and exploiting existing preferential trading agreements with various countries. Growth of exports will also leverage the country’s competitiveness and the on-going ease of doing business reforms under the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI).”
He said efforts would also be made to strengthen strategic partnerships and networks with development cooperating partners and other organisations such as Eosta, Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) and the EU, among others, to assist various companies to improve their technical capabilities and to enhance export performance.
“Furthermore, the country will strive to benefit from the vast continental market of about 1.3 billion people and over US$3.4 trillion in GDP in terms of exports generation,” said Ncube. “Hence, implementation of the Trade Policy, as well as operationalisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area through participation in regional and continental value chains Research and Development. The national industrialisation and development agenda relies on research and development (R&D) as the country pursue implementation of the NDS towards Vision 2030.”
Research in various sectors, Ncube said would be given requisite priority in promoting innovation, science, technology and industrial development.
The 2021 budget, he said, makes provisions for mineral and agro-processing programmes for value addition, value chains, and beneficiation, equipping training and R&D Institutions with state-of-the-art infrastructure, engaging private, public and other stakeholders to develop state of the art research infrastructure and cooperation mechanisms; and strengthening of Centres for Educational Research, Innovation and Development (CERIDs), among others.
“Accordingly, for the various research projects and programmes, the budget allocates a total of ZWL$5.5 billion,” added Ncube.
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)