ZIMBABWE is among top-ranking countries in terms of integration into regional value chains. The Africa Regional Integration Index Report, a collaborative effort between the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa, said Zimbabwe scored moderately at number 21 out of all countries in Africa in the merchandise trade complementarity index of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.Merchandise trade complementarity index measures the extent to which a country’s trade is complementary with that of its partners. This suggests that some level of specialisation through trade between Zimbabwe and other countries in the region may have taken place.
“Considering intra-regional trade in intermediate goods, the index shows that the proportion of intermediate goods in trade by Zimbabwe with SADC is also high. The country’s share of intermediates in total imports within the region averaged 61 per cent in 2014 (that is, the average of the shares for SADC and COMESA), which ranked the country thirteenth among countries that are members of either SADC or COMESA (or of both),” the ARII showed.
The ARII is the continent’s first effort to measure progress on regional integration and launched recently. It seeks to collect data on the impacts of regional integration.
The report said Zimbabwe’s share of intermediates in its exports to SADC and COMESA was also high at 53 percent and ranked the country sixteenth among members of COMESA, SADC or both.
The country scores first in SADC in this dimension because the data is taken as the average of the period 2010-2013 (the period when data was available for a broad range of countries).
The findings could come as sweet music to Government and the private sector as there has been some ground worked carried out in terms of promoting value chains.
Industry, through its representative body, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, has identified opportunities and gaps in 18 value chains as the private sector seeks to drive the country’s industrialisation strategy, in line with the SADC Industrialisation Strategy.
The CZI recently produced a booklet titled: Value Chains Mapping- Mapping of Value Chains in Zimbabwe for Economic Development, which it said will assist policy makers in crafting policies that are relevant to every segment of the economy.
CZI president Busisa Moyo said at the launch of the value chains booklet that the value chains study is line with Africa’s vision to industrialise and in line with the country’s Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, the Ten Point Plan and sustainable development goals.