Zimbabwe records trade deficit

By Nqobile Charles Bhebhe

Posted on June 13, 2011 09:34

Zimbabwe suffered a US$162.4 million trade deficit in the first quarter of 2011 as the country continues to depend on imported goods, Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency has indicated.

The statistical data body, Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency, on June 13 said exports valued at US$344 988 758 were recorded with a total import receipt of US$497 473 358.

According to the data body, trade deficit, compared to the corresponding period in 2010, reduced from US$745,2m when the country exported goods worth $813, 7 million while imports were valued at $1,5billion.

South Africa, it says, accounted for the highest imports with US$240 934 303, while imports from both Botswana and China totaled over US$23 million each. India accounted for US$20 572 204 of the total imports, and Zambia US$16 147 907.

Most basic food products consumed are from neighboring countries as local industries are struggling to produce due to undercapitalization

On exports, South Africa benefited from US$219 628 432 worth of goods, China US$39 927 578, United Arab Emirates US$20 187 234, Italy US$9 843 860, Botswana US$3 028 436, Malawi US$2 145 722, Swaziland US$1 966 634 and US$1 891 512 for Mozambique.

Last week, International Monetary Fund downgraded Zimbabwe’s projected economic growth from 9 percent to 5, 5 percent

Between the months of January and May this year, Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) okayed 75 investment projects worth US$900 million compared to 72 valued at US$104 million last year.

The agricultural sector recorded two projects worth US$444 million, with the manufacturing sector recording 34 projects worth US$104 million.

Mining came third with 20 projects worth US$239 million, while services had 18 projects worth US$4108 million.

The 75 investment projects is expected to create employment for 5 246 people and generate some US$438 million compared to last year’s US$35 million.

Of the approved projects 26 are foreign owned with 49 projects being joint ventures.

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