BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA/FARAI MATIASHE
ZIMBABWE needs to improve its trade systems and proffer enabling monetary and fiscal policies designed to promote international trade, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda has said.
Speaking at an awareness workshop on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) programme in Harare yesterday, Mudenda said Parliament should enact laws that promote trade.
“It is the government’s role to ensure that exporters are supported by monetary and fiscal policies that are designed to improve the enabling trade environment. In this regard, Parliament is enjoined to enact laws that are promotive of continental trade area,” he said
Mudenda said Parliament should ensure there is an enabling legal environment for potential exporters in terms of infrastructure, regulation, access to finance, insurance and fiscal policies.
“If we do not gear ourselves up for this economic integration process, Zimbabwe will lose out on this palpable extensive continental market. Having appendixed its signature on the treaty, Zimbabwe must put in place robust logistics and required infrastructure that will drive Zimbabwe towards maximising its access to this treaty opportunities,” he said.
Mudenda said local universities should consider the inclusion of innovative hubs to drive industry towards use of appropriate technologies so that the country can manufacture high quality products for trade within the continental free trade area and beyond.
AfCFTA, adopted in 2012 by Heads of State at the 18th Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Ethiopia, will pave way for a single market, which will allow free movement of goods and services in the region.
Mudenda also said there is need to strengthen ZimTrade for it to effectively execute its mandate of promoting regional, continental and international trade.
He acknowledged that bureaucratic processes need to be streamlined to allow quick flow of goods and services at the country’s borders.
“While our local industry is the driver of international trade, it is key that the functions of government departments are clearly streamlined and co-ordinated in order for the country to maximise its benefit from trade,” he noted.