Prosper Ndlovu, Business Editor
ZIMBABWE is finalising its tariff offer under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and hopes to reap huge trade benefits under the agreement, a Cabinet minister has said.
The AFCFTA came into force last year in January and Zimbabwe is among the pioneer countries that have ratified the historic deal.
“I believe there is a huge opportunity for our country to benefit from the AfCFTA, which offers a market of more than 1.2 billion people,” said Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza, in a speech read by her deputy, Raj Modi, during an industry and commerce meeting in Bulawayo on Thursday.
“In order to maximise our benefits, we need to ensure increased competitiveness of our local industry through improving the ease of doing business and reducing the cost of doing business.”
In addition, the minister said the Government has also come up with the National Quality Policy, which seeks to address the challenges that have existed from the silo development of quality programmes by ministries, regulators and agencies.
“The National Quality Policy (NQP) is expected to protect the safety and health of the consumer and the environment as both locally manufactured and imported goods and services are consumed on the local market,” said Dr Nzenza.
“The ministry has successfully entered into contract with new Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) service providers.
“This will improve the ease of doing business for importers as there will be more competition among the service providers. “
She said the successful setting up of the Consumer Protection Commission, which has the responsibility of protecting consumers and regulating the accreditation of consumer protection advocacy groups, was among the milestones.
“The Ministry also took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and assisted industry to turn a crisis into opportunities through product diversification, import substitution and increased production of PPEs,” she said.
Article Source: The Chronicle