The Zimbabwean government says it remains committed to the ratification of the African Union (AU) flagship project, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) given the immense opportunities under the arrangement which include access to a larger market.

Opportunities and challenges brought about by the adoption of the CFTA as well as the emerging global trade war dominated discussions during day two of the 2018 Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) with participants highlighting the importance of boosting intra-Africa trade.

Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Permanent Secretary Mrs Abigail Shonhiwa said Zimbabwe will continue to prioritise industrialisation to ensure that the country can effectively participate in the continental trade arrangement and stressed the country readiness to ratify the agreement.

“We have demonstrated our commitment to the arrangement by signing the agreement and it remains our commitment to ratify the framework,” she said.

At a time the global trade is under attack delegates who graced the ZNCC congress highlighted the need for the continent to strategise on how to engage and exploit the huge market presented by the CFTA as well as ensure that the continent improve on competitiveness.

“The continent should fully embrace this trade arrangement in order to boost trade. However, there are issues which need to be addressed in particular infrastructure and product complimentarily,” added Mrs Shonhiwa.

Calls were also made for the continent to prioritise regional value chains in order to boost intra-Africa trade.

Meanwhile, Mrs Shonhiwa said negotiations with relevant British officials which commenced last year on post Brexit trade arrangement are ongoing with an intention to come up with a workable framework.