Zim exports marginally increase despite Covid-19

Zimbabwe’s exports marginally increased during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year despite the effects of Covid-19 on the economy.

It was towards the end of the first quarter that the country went into the initial intense 21-day lockdown which was part of measures by the government to curb the spread of the pandemic.

“In spite of the global and local economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, our exports increased by 4.9% to US$1.96 billion during the first half of 2020, from US$1.86 billion in 2019, for the comparative period,” said President Mnangagwa in his State of the Nation Address late last week.

“Meanwhile, imports declined by 5.9% from US$1.96 billion to US$1.84 billion during the 2019 and 2020 first half comparative periods respectively.”

He attributed that to the government’s current economic programme.

“Our Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) has delivered and there are causes for optimism,” he said.

“My government is indeed encouraged by the current economic stability, evident since the launch of the foreign exchange auction system in June. The system has resulted in the stability of the foreign exchange rate as well as the prices of our goods and services.”

President Mnangagwa said he expected the trend of the positive trade balance to be sustained through increased productivity and exports across all sectors of the economy.

“In addition, foreign currency receipts have performed better than anticipated, appreciating by 18% as at the end of August 2020,” he said.

“Coupled with Diaspora remittances, these should continue to anchor and drive further stability.”

He said the reported increased certification of new products by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe was another “positive signal that our industry is indeed alive and that jobs are being created.”

The reform of State Enterprises and Parastatals, President Mnangagwa said, remained a priority of his government in completely turning around fortunes of the Zimbabwean economy.

“Going forward, the government will soon launch the First Five-Year National Development Strategy: 2021-2025 (NDS1) which builds on the successes of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme,” he added. 

“The NDS1 will guide the formation of the 2021 National Budget which will provide more details on the state of our economy.”

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