JUST IN: Speaker decries lack of Trade Policy

Tawanda Musarurwa Business Reporter
The Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Jacob Mudenda has lamented the non-existence of a Trade Policy in the country in view of the impending full implementation of the African Continental Fee Trade Area (AfCFTA).

To the extent that the agreement is ratified, the free-trade area will be the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.

“Zimbabwe currently does not have a Trade Policy in place and the Industrial Development Policy expired in 2016 and up to now it is still in draft form,” said Speaker Mudenda at an awareness workshop on the AfCFTA this morning.

“Thus the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and international trade, and on industry and Commerce have their work cut out and should play their oversight role in ensuring that the Trade Policy is put in place at the earliest possible convenience and possibly translating it into a law.

“As a country, it is imperative that we put our house in order. First for us to be able to benefit from the free trade area outside our borders,” he said.

The AfCFTA has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52, 3 percent through the elimination of import duties, and by over 100 percent through the elimination of non-tariff barriers.

The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed on by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018.

The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90 percent of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.