Zim rolls out trade reforms “In spite of the many trade facilitation reforms Zimbabwe is pursuing and recently implemented, we continue to share challenges faced by developing countries occasioned by multiple crises, which include inflation, energy and food prices, and financing, as well as disruptions in supply chains and elevated trade costs -which all acutely affect LLDCs,” Dr Shava said.

Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter

ZIMBABWE has implemented trade facilitation reforms despite facing challenges that impede it to fully and meaningfully participate in global trade, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Frederick Shava yesterday told a meeting of Landlocked Least Developing Countries (LLDC) in Abu Dhabi.

The meeting was held ahead of the World Trade Organisation’s 13th Ministerial Conference and the Minister appreciated the unity and solidarity of the LLDCs to ensure that the group was effectively coordinated and speaks with one voice. 

“To date, Zimbabwe has so far implemented a number of trade facilitation reforms with notable progress in the application of information and communication technology solutions to facilitate trade through the use of automated systems for customs data. 

“We are also in the process of completing the process to implement the Zimbabwe electronic single window which will further facilitate trade administrative processes at our national borders. This will complement the ongoing establishment of one-stop border posts at our national borders.

“In spite of the many trade facilitation reforms Zimbabwe is pursuing and recently implemented, we continue to share challenges faced by developing countries occasioned by multiple crises, which include inflation, energy and food prices, and financing, as well as disruptions in supply chains and elevated trade costs -which all acutely affect LLDCs,” Dr Shava said.

It was therefore pertinent to have focused discussions within the Committee on Trade and Development, assessing trade related challenges with the objective for the WTO to adopt measures that assist LLDCs to integrate and participate more meaningfully in the world trading system. 

“It is important to recall that there are 32 landlocked developing countries in the world, including 17 least developed countries which, over the last decade, have experienced stagnated and a marginal decrease in the share of world exports, from 1,2 percent in 2013 to 1,1 percent in 2023. 

“This is a point of concern given that LLDC are a sizeable constituency of 7 percent of the world population facing unique geographical impediments to meaningfully participate in global trade,” he said. 

The Minister said Zimbabwe endorsed the LLDC Ministerial Declaration and supports its submission to MC13. 

He expressed readiness to work with all WTO LLDC members to achieve a successful outcome. 

Botswana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mmusi Kgafela, who also chairs the LLDCs, said the outcomes of the meeting will directly influence the grouping’s priorities, strategies and collective aspirations at the conference.

“The representations for this significant event are ready and are already underway. Underscoring the importance of our discussions today, outcomes of this meeting will directly influence our priorities, strategies and collective aspirations at the conference. 

“As such, it is incumbent upon us to leverage this opportunity to set the stage for constructive dialogue, collaboration and action that will propel LLDCs towards sustainable development and prosperity,” he said.

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