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Zim must step up to increase exports: UK


THE United Kingdom (UK) embassy said Zimbabwe could boost its exports to the European country through the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), but said it needed to step up.

The British head of trade policy, Southern Africa, Charlie Morris made the revelations while making his presentation on the topic of accessing the UK market post Brexit at a two-day National Trade Tariff conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) premises in Bulawayo last week.

Morris said there were some changes to UK’s import controls that had been applied from January 2021 based on principles set out in the World Trade Organisation.

 “Trade does not come in a vacuum, support is there for the export capacity of Zimbabwe, exports are key features of trading. There are some changes to the UK’s phytosanitary import controls that have been applied since January 2021," Morris said.

“As a result of these changes, some commodities have been deregulated, and this includes citrus fruit and leaves. Stronger requirements have been introduced for some other commodities.

He said changes being made were based on principles set out in the WTO-SPS Agreement and reflected UK’s strong support of the rules-based international trading system and WTO law.

Competition and Tariff Commission representative Chinyaradzo Phiri said Zimbabwe was still behind on its obligations to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Protocol on Trade which was ratified in 2000.

“The country has not been able to fully liberalise its trade within Sadc.It has only liberalised 84% of its tariff lines. The country has applied for a derogation or waiver in line with category C products pursuant to Article 3.1 (C) of the Sadc Trade Protocol,’’ Phiri said.

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