Zimbabwe will have a new trade policy soon following the expiry of the one that was launched in 2012.
A trade policy is crucial for open economies such as Zimbabwe, as it defines the country’s standards, goals and rules and regulations that pertain to trade relations with other countries. Director of International Trade in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Beatrice Mutetwa told FinX that: “We (now) have a new (trade policy) document which we are launching soon, hopefully before the end of April 2017,”
The industrial policy, which is usually launched simultaneously with the trade policy, is likely to be also launched the same time.
The trade policy ideally builds its strategies on the foundation of an industrial policy and acts as a marketing plan of the industrial policy.
Top industrialist and past president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Oswell Binha said, in crafting the two policies, government should really define its intention with the traditional economic drivers such as Zisco Steel, Sable Chemicals, National Railways of Zimbabwe, and other key parastatals.
“Any aspirations for industrialisation short of these are child play,” added he added.
“There has been disconnect between the national budget and policies since time immemorial in this country. One would like to understand how this problem shall be dealt with,” he said, also questioning the efficacy and sustainability of statutory instruments in fostering a sustainable trade balance.
“Having signed into law the Special Economic Zones Bill (SEZs), it will be naive on the part of government to underplay the centrality of SEZs. I suppose the SEZ law should speak to the new industrial policy,” said Binha.
He said the industrial policy must enhance attraction of both foreign and domestic investment.
“The industrial policy should also speak about incentives for beneficiation, market creation and creation of a regime of efficient economic enablers. Enhanced and increased beneficiation, increased valued added exports, development of infrastructure for industrialisation, creation and appreciation of value chains, inducement of skills and technology transfer should also be prioritised,” he said. – FinX
Publish Date: Tuesday 14 March 2017