Zimbabwe’s trade deficit in the first nine months of the year stood at $2.6 billion as the economy continues to rely on imports on the back of weakening productivity.
Figures provided by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) show that imports amounted to $4.65 billion between January and September while exports totalled $2 billion.
In the first six months of the year, the trade deficit stood at $1.8 billion.
According to Zimstat, top source countries for the imports included South Africa, China, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Botswana, United Kingdom, India, Japan and Mozambique.
Major imports included dried fish, fresh water, milk and other related dairy products, crude oil, fuel, electrical energy, steel products and vehicle accessories.
The country’s major exports were minerals and a wide range of agriculture related products such as tobacco, tea and horticulture products.
Zimbabwe’s trade deficit continues to grow as the local industry’s struggles continue, functioning at 36 percent of capacity, incapacitated by lack of funding for retooling and unreliable power supply.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has said more than $2 billion is required to revive industry.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa last month said government will introduce measures targetted at curtailing imports and encourage local production as well as exports.
“The influx of imports, thus, continues to undermine growth of the agricultural sector and recovery of the local industry,” finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said recently.
“The bulk of the imports are finished products, most of which are already produced locally.”
Sectors earmarked for support include motor industries, beverages, agricultural commodities, clothing industry, and leather industry.-The Source