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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Zimbabwe government reform laws to boost declining exports 

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government is amending at least 16 laws to boost exports which have been on a decline over the years.

The laws are being amended under the Ease of Doing Export Business Rapid Results Initiative to address issues such as high cost of production, complex and burdensome procedures as well as limited access to affordable long-term trade finance.

The initiative is also expected to reduce the cost and time of exporting so as to boost national exports which have fallen significantly in recent years resulting in a widening trade deficit of 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.

Benison Ntini, chairperson of the thematic group on export regulation, said draft changes had since been made to one of the laws that restricted exports through requirement of export permits for a wide range of products.

“Draft amendments to the Statutory Instrument (8 of 1996) were completed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, only four strategic goods are now left on the list,” Ntini was quoted as saying by the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday.

He said the four goods that remain on the list are fertilizer, raw and refined sugar, timber and timber products.

Office of the President and Cabinet deputy chief secretary Ray Ndhlukula said the initiative was aimed at improving the ease of doing export business to boost production and value added products.

Challenges facing local industry in exporting goods rendered Zimbabwean products uncompetitive on the international market and expensive locally, he added.

“This therefore negatively affects industrial growth and development,” he said.

Amending regulations that impede export procedures was therefore key to government as it pushes towards export oriented growth, Ndhlukula said.

The country’s export earnings declined from 3.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 2.8 billion dollars in 2016.

             

 

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