Zimbabwe US trade
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently unveiled a new national investment policy statement that outlines guidelines for investing in the country, according to a Jan. 31 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

According to the USDA, the policy statement is one of the ways Zimbabwe’s government is attempting to attract investors and revitalize the country’s poorly performing economy. If implemented effectively, the policy may result in an increase in agriculture production and growth in the nation, the USDA noted in the report.

Priority sectors in the 34-page document include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure development and dam construction.

In its GAIN report, the USDA indicated that the new policy may open the door to trade opportunities for the United States in the areas of non-genetically modified seeds, rice, food ingredients, consumer-oriented products, animal feed, plant varieties, wheat, sorghum and legumes.

“The United States agricultural exports to Zimbabwe range between $5 million to $19 million and accounted for about 2% of the total Zimbabwe agricultural imports in 2016,” the USDA said. “As a result, growth in United States agricultural exports could be achieved through direct exports to Zimbabwe or through South African food distributors that export to Zimbabwe.”

The USDA noted that while some of the opportunities may only be achievable over time, the United States should start “as early as possible” to build contacts, develop market intelligence and start engaging the new Zimbabwean government on trade policies.

“Supporting Zimbabwe’s adoption of biotechnology, and initiating capacity building and technical assistance programs, such as the Cochran and Borlaug Fellowship would be the most practical and recommended initiatives to commence at this stage,” the USDA noted in the report.