August exports up 10 percent

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Senior Business Reporter
THE country’s exports in August increased by an average 10 percent to $202,6 million from $183,7 million compared to the previous month, latest data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) shows.

Although, the figures are showing an improvement in the value of exports in August, the country still recorded a trade deficit as the value of imports during the period under review stood at $443,9 million.

Zimstat indicated that in January the country exported goods worth $248,7 million before the value declined to $209 million in February.

Between March and April, the value of exports stood at $166 million and $157,3 million respectively.

In May, Zimbabwe exported $164,6 million worth of goods while in June the value went up to $176 million.

The agency also revealed that the value of imports since January were higher than exports.

The first month of the year recorded imports worth $394 million before increasing to $427 million in February.

In March, imports rose to $477 million before declining to $356 million in April.

However, the value of imported goods shot up in May to $408 million before increasing again in June to $429,2 million.

In July the figure went down to $394,2 million.

Since the liberalisation of the economy in February 2009, Zimbabwe has been grappling with a trade deficit as the country continued to experience an influx of cheap imported products entering the country making local industry uncompetitive.

Against this background, the Government has come up with a number of measures to reduce the trade deficit.

The Government has promulgated Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which removes several goods from the Open General Import Licence.

The framework controls the level of imports by allowing businesses to import listed products based on availability on the local market.

This means that where local industry has the capacity to produce and meet demand for listed products, the goods may not be imported.

Effective first of March 2016, the Government has also implemented the Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programme as a measure of curbing the influx of substandard and hazardous goods and creating a level playing field for local industry. CBCA programme is regulated by Statutory Instrument 132 of 2015.

The new import regulation stipulates that selected products must be verified for conformity or compliance to standards by the contracted conformity assessment agent in the country of origin before they can be imported into Zimbabwe.

@okazunga

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