Cletus Mushanawani in CHIMOIO, Mozambique
ZIMBABWE is implementing tariff liberalisation to open the economy and trade with other member states and has also applied for relaxation to be exempted from implementing tariff reductions on several products due to challenges being faced by the local business community.
Officiating at the ZimTrade Outward Trade Mission to Manica Province in Mozambique yesterday, Zimbabwe’s Consular General to Beira, Mr Stephen Kudarawanda, urged the business community to take advantage of the regional and continental trade agreements to market their products and services.
“Mozambique is Zimbabwe’s all weather friend and a very strategic location and lifeline for Zimbabwe’s economy. Our countries are both members of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), SADC and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).
“These trade agreements allow us to trade with each other duty-free and quota-free on non-sensitive and exclusive products,” said Mr Kudarawanda.
This week’s ZimTrade’s Outward Trade Mission comes hot on the heels of President Mnangagwa’s three-day State in April upon an invitation by his Mozambican counterpart, President Filipe Nyusi which saw the two countries consolidating their long-standing relationship through the signing of an agreement to form a bilateral commission.
In a move set to ease Zimbabwe’s power challenges, Zimbabwe will now be part of the ongoing power expansion projects in Mozambique.
A new visa regime will also be introduced which will see visitors from both countries getting passes at the point of entry valid for 90 days.
“The State visit to Mozambique at the invitation of President Nyusi was premised on the solid relations between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, but most importantly it is the commitment by Zimbabwe to capacitate Mozambique, post the current challenges in Cabo Delgado where Zimbabwe among other Southern African countries, has taken the responsibility to capacitate the Mozambique Defence Forces so that they hold their ground and stop any future spread of terrorism,” said Mr Kudarawanda.
The State visit to Mozambique at the invitation by President Nyusi by President Mnangagwa was premised on the relationship between the two countries.
Zimbabwe, among other SADC countries, has taken the responsibility to capacity the Mozambique Defence Forces so that they can hold their ground and stop any future threats of terrorism.
Mozambique is Zimbabwe’s all weather friend and serves as lifeline for Zimbabwe’s economy.
State Secretary for Manica Province, Mr Edson da Graca Macuacua called on participants at the Outward Trade Mission to come up with programmes and agreements that cement the bilateral relationship between Zimbabwe and Mozambique in trade and commerce.
“This is a platform for sharing experiences and knowledge that will stimulate growth and relationships in businesses between the two countries. Our two presidents have shown us the way and we should follow suit.
“We should identify opportunities and challenges in doing business that we can take further to higher offices. We should work in uniform to facilitate the smooth flow of business and trade between the two countries. We should also build new bridges for co-operation between businesses in Zimbabwe and Mozambique to complement the two countries’ economic growth,” said Mr Macuacau.
ZimTrade’s operations director, Mr Similo Nkala, said Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that have seen exports growth during the past three years despite the Covid-19 induced national lockdowns.
“There is need for closer co-operation between the two countries. Zimbabwe is good in agriculture and needs to work together with Mozambique to expand its agricultural activities.
“Zimbabwe has seen an increase in terms of exports for the past eight years. It is one of the few countries where exports increased in the past three years despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Exports increased from US$4.4 billion in 2019 to US$6b in 2021, but the key issue is to look at increasing value added exports as a country,” said Mr Nkala.