‘National Trade Policy finalisation before year end’

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha
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INDUSTRY and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha says review of the National Trade Policy is still in progress and finalisation of the process is likely to be before the end of the year.

The Government started reviewing the country’s NTP and the Industrial Development Policy and last year as the two policy documents were set to expire at the end of 2016.

The appraisal of the policies will benefit the local manufacturing sector and Zimbabwe’s external trade in view of indications that the new policies will be co-ordinated with investment policies.

Officiating at the just ended Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) conference in Victoria Falls, Dr Bimha said local industry was set to benefit local industry from the new policy document.

“In order for Zimbabwe to take advantage of the Continental Free Trade Area, Government through my ministry is in the process of reviewing the National Trade Policy. This policy will serve as a guiding document towards future regional, industrial and trade arrangements for this country,” he said.

Dr Bimha said the NTP would help Zimbabwe take part in the international economic development. “This will ensure that Zimbabwe takes part in the change in regional and global economic environment and expand the circle of opportunities for our country,” he said.

“The draft national policy will ideally build its strategies on the foundation of the industrial trade policy which is also at a draft stage. Robust policies are key to unlock productivity and facilitate the economy towards an export oriented direction.”

He said the new investment policies will be for the period 2017-2021. The present IDP has not been successful if at the moment capacity utilisation levels in the manufacturing sector are anything to go by.

The IDP was promulgated in 2012. Zimbabwe’s economy recorded real growth of more than 10 percent per year between 2009 and 2012 following the liberalisation of the economy and the adoption of sound economic management policies by the Government.

However, owing to several internal and external factors such a growth momentum weakened between 2013 and 2016 when the growth averaged about 4,1 percent taking the country away from the development trajectory as spelt out in Zim-Asset. It believed that the upcoming policies would address the internal and external factors stifling economic growth in the country. – BH24