In spite of the global and local economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our exports increased by 4.9% to US$1.96 billion during the first half of 2020, from US$1.86 billion in 2019, for the comparative period. Meanwhile, imports declined by 5.9% from US$1.96 billion to US$1.84 billion during the 2019 and 2020 first half comparative periods respectively.
In addition, foreign currency receipts have performed better than anticipated, appreciating by 18% as at end of August 2020. Coupled with Diaspora remittances, these should continue to anchor and drive further stability.
The reported increased certification of new products by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe is another positive signal that our industry is indeed alive and that jobs are being created.
We expect the trend of the positive trade balance to be sustained through increased productivity and exports across all sectors of the economy.
The attainment of Vision 2030 is premised on a performance-oriented and results-driven culture. Thus the Reform of State Enterprises and Parastatals remains a priority as we revisit the strategic importance of these entities in line with Vision 2030. Strong structural and administrative frameworks will be enforced together with good corporate governance, accountability, transparency, productivity and profitability in all State owned entities.
Going forward, Government will soon launch the First Five-Year National Development Strategy: 2021-2025 (NDS1) which builds on the successes of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme. The NDS1 will guide the formation of the 2021 National Budget which will provide more details on the state of our economy.
The fight against corruption continues to be a central goal for my Government. This vice cannot co-exist with sustainable economic development and growth. Therefore, let us all strengthen our determination to rid Zimbabwe of corruption. Nobody is above the law – Justice shall be pursued.
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