The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Patrick Chinamasa said that bureaucratic policies that hinder exports are to go during a meeting with different players in Zimbabwe’s economy in Harare last week. Chinamasa said this as the country’s income from exports is based on two products gold and tobacco.
“We are seeking to remove bureaucratic policies that hinder exports… those are to go,” said Chinamasa .
Tobacco which faces criticism of causing lung diseases internationally is Zimbabwe’s second foreign currency producer after minerals.
Gold, which is the most exported products among the minerals in Zimbabwe exceeded its expected target of 24.5 metric tonnes to 24, 8 metric tonnes in 2017. Artisanal miners, who faced challenges which include rainfall forcing operations to stop produced 13 metric tonnes of gold. The Minister of Finance projected that exports will be US$3.9 billion against US$5.4 billion imports in 2017. Zimbabwe’s mineral exports for between January and September last year rose by 25 percent to US$1.69 billion from US$1.35 billion of the same season in 2016.
Tobacco, the golden leaf which is blamed for contributing to deforestation in Zimbabwe, constituted 12.5 percent of the country exports in 2017. The leaf has been the main driver for export growth during 2012-2016 despite restrictions set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on its trade. Tobacco is attracting more farmers with a 199 percent increase of newly registered growers for the 2017/18 cropping season as compared to last year which is also a concern for the environment. The registration amounted to 21 331 compared to 7 131 during the same period the past year.
Last year Zimbabwe embarked on the 200 days initiative on the easy of doing business which also included reducing strains in exporting. The country is also in the process of creating export processing zones to increase its foreign currency earnings.