Zimbabwe exports have increased by at least 15%, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has said.
Delivering his state of the economy in the national assembly, Ncune said in the first quarter of 2019, exports have increased by at least from $880 million to more than $1 billion.
“Turning to exports, during the first quarter of 2019, the country’s merchandise exports grew by 15% from $886,1 million realised in the first quarter of 2018 to reach $1,02 billion. Exports for the period were mainly dominated by gold at 23%, flue-cured tobacco at 23%, nickel at 17%, nickel ore and concentrates at 11% of total exports, ferrochrome and industrial diamonds, among others but those first four were the dominant export items,” Ncube.
Zimbabwe has been battling to keep a health balance of trade balance sheet as imports over the years have outweighed exports causing a trade deficits.
Although the exports were increasing, they remained minimal to the foreign currency demand.
Ncube said South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Mozambique dominated the export destinations absorbing 51%, 17% and 8% respectively, whilst other countries absorbed 19% of the exports.
“Turning to the external sector, the TSP seeks to attain a sustainable balance of payments position underpinned by increasing exports, particularly through focusing on value added exports. The strategy also seeks to take advantage of opportunities arising from regional and international trade. Concurrently, the TSP targeted higher import substitution for goods and services which can be produced domestically, taking advantage of the country’s resources,” Ncube told the house.
In addition, Government envisaged curtailment of non-essential imports in view of foreign currency limitations