Zim submits proposed ACfTA tariff offer to AU Commission African leaders agreed to create a single market, ACfTA, which came into force in January 2021 and creates a US$3,4 trillion GDP market

Sandra Maziwisa Business Reporter

Zimbabwe has submitted the draft of its proposed African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) tariff market access offer to the African Union Commission (AUC)  for consideration.

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza made the revelation last week in her presentation at the Competition and Tariff Commission’s National Trade Tariff Day.

“I urge the Competition and Tariff Commission to go beyond the national tariff day and arrange similar workshops with other sectors in 2022 to prepare our local industry for the implementation of the (ACfTA) agreement,” she said.

“If there are significant comments and reviews from AUC, as will be advised through the Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Trade, my ministry will engage the commission to undertake further consultations and I’m sure the livestock sector will be part of the consultations,” she said.

She added that Zimbabwe needed to reap the full benefits of the AfCFTA, and concurrently mitigate adverse effects that will likely emanate from this trade agreement on local industry. Minister Nzenza said this would only be possible if Zimbabwe’s industry comprehended and appreciated the AfCTA modalities.

“Given that implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement is still in its formative stages, it is crucial that the local industry is aware of the most important dictates of the agreement that includes its modalities, products categorisation, rules of origin, potential benefits, threats and migratory measures at its disposal,” the minister said.

CTC director, Ellen Ruparanganda, said harnessing opportunities under the AfCFTA could be one of the ways in which Zimbabwe could drive progress towards attaining targets under National Development Strategy (NDS 1) and Vision 2030.

“As CTC we feel very honoured to be discussing this Agreement with you and how we can be at your service as far as our mandate is concerned.

This year, as part of its National Trade Tariffs Day the Commission decided to focus on the livestock value chain, following discussions with Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) on the opportunities and challenges that comes with operationalization of the AfCFTA Agreement,” Mrs Ruparanganda said.

Free trade under AfCFTA may benefit the domestic industry by enhancing market access in member states, which normally comes with costs to local exporters in the form of unfair trade practises (UTP’s).

“Traditional trade defence tools such as import prohibitions, quotas and tariff hikes are now less permissible and the survival of our domestic industry, under the pressures of liberalisation will have to rely more on legal trade defence instruments,” Minister Nzenza.

The AfCFTA agreements also include trade remedy provisions to counteract distortions arising from UTPs namely dumping, subsidization and surges in imports and CTC has fully functionalized the trade defence mechanisms, and has already started training and capacitating responsible government departments and the private sector on trade remedies.

The Ministry is currently in the middle of the implementation of Zimbabwe National Industrial Policy (ZNIDP) (2019-2033) derived from vision 2030.

The ZNIDP is guided by the principles of value addition and beneficiation, export led industrialization and promotion of sustainable industrial development.

The policy aims to improve the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP, employment creation and generation of foreign currency.

Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC)is a statutory body established by the Competition Act. Its broad function is to implement and enforce Zimbabwe’s Competition Policy and Law, as well as execute the country’s Trade Tariffs agenda. It promotes and maintains competition in all sectors of the Zimbabwean economy, assists local industry to be competitive locally and in the export market, as well as promotes fair trade in the economy of Zimbabwe.


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