The Sunday Mail
ZIMBABWE’s exports in the first half of 2018 reached $2,1 billion compared to $1,6 billion in the same period in 2017, amidst indications that the rise is attributable to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s incentives programme.
Export incentives exist for tobacco, gold and Diaspora remittances, which are Zimbabwe’s main foreign currency earners.
According to information obtained by The Sunday Mail, exporters pocketed $292,4 million from incentives in the first six months of 2018, broken down as $139,5 million for gold, $87,5 million for tobacco, and $69 million for Diaspora remittances.
Gold production increased by 72 percent to 20,8 tonnes from the 12,1 tonnes in the prior year comparative, while tobacco output reached a record 244 million kg.
Funded through bond notes, the export incentives were introduced to boost local production and reduce the import bill.
RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya said, “The increase in gold and tobacco production means that the incentives payouts paid in bonds notes also increased.
“There is a $100 million headroom for an increase in bond notes since we have only issued $390 million bond notes whilst the export incentives are at $602 million.”
With more than 20,8 tonnes of gold having been produced so far in 2018, Zimbabwe is on course to achieve this year’s target of 30 tonnes.
Economist Dr Gift Mugano said Government should introduce more incentives to boost exports.
“As it is we are issuing export incentives to traditional exporters who have the capacity to produce. There is need for us to expand the net to other lines. This will also help create jobs as well as increase foreign currency and circulating cash,” he said.
The cash situation has improved significantly in recent few weeks with depositors being able to withdraw as much as $300 from banks.