HARARE, June 11, (Xinhua/GNA) - Zimbabwe says it is not ready to fully implement the
African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) until it has fully industrialized.
according to industry and commerce minister, would only be able to fully
implement the trade pact in about 15 years when it has fully industrialized so
that it can effectively benefit from the market provided by the trade
agreement, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.
The AfCFTA came
into effect on May 30 after being ratified by 22 member states including
The free trade
area, expected to boost intra-Africa trade, will create a continent-wide market
of 1.2 billion people worth about 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars.
told the newspaper that the government was fully aware of the concerns by the
local manufacturing sector that it would fail to compete in the free trade area
as it is currently facing a myriad of economic challenges.
He said the
government had made the necessary negotiations with other member states to make
sure that they do not reduce the country to a dumping ground.
understand the potential risk to it and the biggest one being we are likely to
be on the receiving end from big companies who have more competitive products
who will use us as a dumping site but obviously we did not ascend to it blind
“As a country
we have negotiated that we will fully implement the treaty in 15 years so we
have more time to industrialize.
“We have more
time to make sure that our companies are able to produce competitive products
but at the same time we will be able to export to the whole continent,"
minister Moyo said.