Zimbabwe anticipates that the game-changing African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create new impetus for investment, trade and industrialization in the country in line with the southern African nation's development plans.
This was said by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou in a speech read on his behalf by Ambassador Pavelyn Musaka at the beginning of a two-day workshop to validate the country's national AfCFTA strategy.
Countries are due to commence trading under the AfCFTA on 1 July 2020.
Ambassador Manzou said the country signed and ratified the AfCFTA 'in cognisance of the immense potential envisaged in fully implementing the AfCFTA.'
'We anticipate significant opportunities manifesting themselves, thereby leading to positive transformation of the economic landscape, especially for us here in Zimbabwe. With proper planning we foresee great achievements of higher levels of industrialisation, employment creation, sustained economic growth and development,' the Permanent Secretary said.
He said there was need for the country to undertake coherent, prioritised and well sequenced actions aimed at revitalising industrial growth.
'You are here because we in government consider you as an important cog in Zimbabwe's dream of realising Vision 2030 where the country hopes to achieve a middle income status. It is time to come together, and agree on a strategy that will propel us forward within the short to medium term,' said Mr. Manzou to private sector representatives and other key stakeholders attending the workshop.
'We do not wish to be a dumping ground for the rest of Africa, but to strategically capture African markets where we can supply processed goods. Value addition should be our clarion call.'
He said the country's AfCFTA strategy was expected to identify where comparative advantages lie as the nation seeks to industrialise and implement sustainable value chains that will support economic diversification and maximize its trade potential.
'As government we are proud that the processes of developing this strategy is following a transparent, participatory and inclusive approach which involves all relevant stakeholders, drawn from the public and private sectors, including women, youth, parliamentarians, academia and civil society,' the Permanent Secretary added.
Deep consultations were held with key policy makers and implementers, various subsectors drawn...