President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe must speedily re-enter the global exporting stage, something possible if local firms embrace joint venture partnerships to produce quality products and value add them.

Addressing stakeholders during the 2018 ZIMTRADE exporters conference in Harare this morning, Cde Mnangagwa said “the fact that 80% of our export products are primary is undesirable,” adding that “if we are to sustain economic growth, we need to export manufactured products. A robust innovation with new cutting edge technology across all sectors is critical in enhancing export competitiveness.”

“Utilising existing bilateral agreements is the first port of call to have maximum benefit in growth. Intra African trade must be the mindset of exporters from this going forward,” he also said.

The President also spoke about the government’s re-engagement efforts and the proposed industrial and trade policies meant to drive economic through modernising the value chain.

“Re-engaging international partners is my thrust to leverage our economic growth. Now, my government is depending on ministries to devise and expedite policy to grow economy. The new industrial Policy will soon be unveiled for growth,” he said.

The President’s sentiments were also echoed by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Mangaliso Ndlovu, who addressed the gathering before Cde Mnangagwa.

“At policy level, we are coming up with export policy towards vision 2030 and will be unveiled by year end.  Streamlining regulations and procedures to enhance ease of doing business is my thrust. I encourage Exporters to be on point with global developments in order to stay competitive,” he said.

President Mnangagwa added that ‘agriculture and mining are earmarked for enhancing our growth trajectory,’ and emphasised that the attainment of a shared vision is dependent on all stakeholders working together to achieve a middle income economy by 2030.

The President said the government is aware of foreign currency challenges that the industry is facing, saying that the central bank and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development are working towards prioritising foreign currency allocation to key sectors.