Government implored to invest wisely

By Varaidzo Zhakata
THE Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) has been implored to invest in sectors that allow firms in the SADC bloc to compete in economic circles, such as in trade and export.
Renowned economic analyst, Prosper Chitambara, highlighted that the postponement of the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a golden opportunity for Zimbabwe to broaden its local manufacturing base, as well as investing in critical infrastructure to stir trade and investment in the country.
Zimbabwe’s export position, according to Chitambara, cannot stir competition to other countries as it exports about five percent (%) of manufactured goods and a bulk of raw materials, before adding that the COVID- 19 induced lockdown exacerbated the export position and plunged the economy.
“The export base is not enough to stir competition with other countries. The composition of our exports is about 5 % of manufactured exports and the bulk is natural resources, and that affects the country’s trade competitiveness.
“The COVID- 19 and the resultant lockdown affected productivity so we are coming from a low productive base and that will obviously affect our export position,” highlighted Chitambara.
African countries who are signatories to the AfCFTA need to embrace the period left before the start of the trading bloc to negotiate and remove barriers and impediments that may seem to pose as threats to the success of the trading bloc.
Zimbabwe became an effective member of the AfCFTA during the mid-2019, however, it requested for a 15-year waiver to allow the country to trade and be able to fully participate under the terms of the agreement after economic experts deemed the economy was frail to execute the trade deal.
The AfCFTA is one of the Agenda 2063 flagship projects, which has its success anchored on the commitment and political will, of member states.

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