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Exports to Sadc rise 113pc

ZIMBABWE’S exports to the Southern African Development Community region rose by 113 percent from 2009 to 2013, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.
Exports reached about $3,2 billion last year from just under $1,5 billion five years ago.
The composition of Zimbabwe’s exports to the region were dominated by tobacco, minerals (diamonds, nickel, iron and steel), cotton, sugar, cement, raw hides and skins, and wood products.

On the other hand, major imports were fertilisers, petroleum oils, nickel matte, maize, animal feeds, motor vehicles and electrical energy.
Sadc remains Zimbabwe’s biggest trading market, absorbing about 90 percent of local products in 2013. However, within the region, South Africa has a dominant share of 79 percent, thus making it Zimbabwe’s biggest export market, according to ZimTrade .

Other important markets within the region include Mozambique and Zambia absorbing 10,3 percent and 3,3 percent of total exports, respectively.
The increase in exports has had a positive impact on the trade balance. Although imports to Sadc rose by 62 percent from $3,5 billion in 2010 to $5,7 billion in 2011, they slowed by 27 percent to close 2013 on $4,4 billion, according to the statistics. At the same time, exports have risen during the period under review, thus putting a check on the widening trade balance that declined by 67 percent to $1,2 billion last year.

While exports are increasing, of concern is the fact that the structure of trade is skewed in favour of commodities.
There is, therefore, need to support industry’s endeavours to beneficiate the abundant raw materials that exist in our country and thereby create employment and realise more export earnings, according to ZimTrade.

The Sadc market is composed of 15 countries namely, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Source – Chronicle