Table of Contents

  • The Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) was first established on a trial basis by the GATT CONTRACTING PARTIES in April 1989. The Mechanism became a permanent feature of the World Trade Organization under the Marrakesh Agreement which established the WTO in January 1995.

  • This second Trade Policy Review of Zimbabwe has provided an opportunity to improve our understanding of recent economic, including trade, policy developments, and to identify areas in which there is room for improvement. Our frank discussion has been stimulated by the full and open participation of the Zimbabwean delegation led by H.E. Pr. Welshman Ncube, Minister of Industry and Commerce, as well as by the perceptive remarks of the discussant, H.E. Dr. Anthony Mothae Maruping of Lesotho, and the active engagement of many Members.

  • Zimbabwe’s renewed commitment to fiscal discipline and its de facto adoption of the U.S. dollar as legal tender as a result of the implementation of its multi-currency system in February 2009 have brought some encouraging signs towards macroeconomic stabilization. Nevertheless, Zimbabwe’s economy is still in a fragile state with high unemployment, depleted international reserves, and unsustainably high external debt, including a major accrual of arrears. A fractious socio-political environment, combined with a controversial land reform and measures in favour of indigenization, has triggered the withdrawal of support from the international community and cast a shadow over property rights, thereby undermining the business environment, with a devastating impact on Zimbabwe’s economic performance and social indicators over the past decade.

  • Since its last Trade Policy Review in 1994, Zimbabwe experienced significant developments of both socio-economic and political nature that have impacted on both formulation and application of its Trade Policy. On the socio-economic front, the imposition of sanctions by sections of the international community has massively impacted negatively on the Zimbabwean economy. The sanctions include the enactment of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) in 2001 by the United States of America (USA), sanctions by the European Union (EU) in 2002 as well as Canada and Australia and their allies.