NewsSouthern AfricaImports over dependency nag Zimbabwe's top banker


Posted on Thursday, 04 April 2013 12:03

Imports over dependency nag Zimbabwe's top banker

By Janet Shoko

Gideon Gono, Governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe/Photo©ReutersThe Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe says the country's banks are "safe and sound" with total deposits now at $4,5 billion.


Central Bank governor Gidion Gono ruled out any possibility of banks being closed down because of viability problems.

"We have not closed any bank and have no intention of sanctioning any.

You have no need to lose sleep over the status of the banking sector," he told journalists in Harare.

"They are safe and sound. We are also happy to see the growth in our deposit base, almost approaching the $4,5 billion mark and we have seen the growth in our exports."

However, Gono said  the bank was worried about Zimbabwe's over dependency on imports.

"We remain worried that we are depending on imports, particularly finished products, and we cannot build a strong economy by importing jobs and subcontracting producers in other jurisdictions to produce for us when we can produce for ourselves," Gono said.

Last year, Gono disclosed that more than $35million worth of chickens were imported each month despite the country having its own viable poultry industry.

Zimbabwe draws its foreign currency from only five sources - exports, foreign direct investment, lines of credit, portfolio inflows and dividends and Diaspora inflows.

On lines of credit,  Gono said the country had renewed its $400 million credit line facilities with the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank).

Meanwhile,  in 2012 Zimbabwe's foreign direct investments (FDI) increased to $450 million from $387 million the previous year.

Speaking at a two-day investment conference in South Africa on Wednesday, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada said FDI for Zimbabwe had been on a growth trajectory since 2009 when the figure was a mere $60 million.

The amount rose to $165,9 million in 2010 to $387 million in 2011.

"The growth trajectory trend is what we want to pursue as a country and we want South Africa to be a key driver in FDI," Mashakada said.

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